Major General Francis Ofori, the Commandant of the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), has lauded the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the continuous support for the Centre.
He said the KAIPTC, one of the three training centres of excellence, designated by ECOWAS in the sub-region, would continue to deliver on its mandate.
“We look forward to continue strengthening this fruitful partnership between KAIPTC and ECOWAS,” Major General Ofori remarked at the opening of the Integrated Middle Management Course (IMMC) at the KAIPTC in Accra.
The course, which is the second in series, is being organised by the KAIPTC with funding support from the Commission and the European Union.
It seeks to fill gaps identified by ECOWAS, with the objective to support the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF).
The Course aims at enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of participants to perform tasks at the middle management level of any ECOWAS mandated Peace Support Operation.
The 17 participants attending the two-week course were drawn from eight African countries, namely Ghana, Serra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Nigeria and Zambia.
Major General Ofori urged the participants to engage with each other and actively participate in the discussions so that they could derive the maximum benefit from the course.
He also urged them to make the best use of their two-week stay at the Centre to enable them all to achieve the objectives of this course.
“You are all aware that the Coronavirus is still with us, and the only way to prevent getting infected is to stick religiously to the safety protocols; so during your two-week training, please wear your masks, wash your hands or sanitize them frequently, and maintain a 2-metre distance between yourself and others.”
Mr Baba Gana Wakil, Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, said, the IMMC in Peace Support Operations under the sponsorship of the EU was the second in the series.
Participants are at the end of the course, are expected to perform the role of middle managers to support and achieve a common standard for integrated procedures in Peace Support Operations.
Mr Wakil said the ECOWAS Standby Force was a multidimensional and integrated force comprising elements from the military, police and civilian components of the ECOWAS Member States.
This, he said was what accounted for the mixture of military, police and civilian participants to go through the Course.
He said ECOWAS had enormous experience in planning, deploying and managing Peace Support Operations within the Region as exemplified by the recent deployments of ECOWAS Peace Missions in Guinea Bissau and The Gambia.
He said the need to train a bulk of personnel to adequately manage PSOS could not, therefore, be overemphasized, adding, this training also provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas between the participants and the facilitators.
He urged the participants to find one or two new lessons that would enhance their experience in management, as they were already experienced in their own right.
He encouraged them to also make good use of the resources that had been placed at their disposal by KAIPTC.