VICE-PRESIDENT Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says the intractable conflicts and other security challenges on the African continent can best be resolved when Africans begin to train and develop local capacity and expertise to solve its problems.
“Our effort to ensure that Africa becomes peaceful is achievable, especially when we begin to train, equip and lead the deployment of our very own expertise to solve our problems,” he said.
Vice-President Amissah-Arthur was speaking at the graduation of 101 post-graduate students at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) at Teshie in Accra on Wednesday.
The students, drawn from West, Central, Eastern and Northern Africa, and Europe, were taken through a year-long study in an Executive Masters and Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security Management, and in Gender, Peace and Security Management, respectively.
Vice-President Amissah-Arthur noted that the security challenges facing Africa were many; some of which were very complex and had persisted for decades.
“In all the sub-regions of our continent we have examples of conflicts that have their origin in ethnic differences, disputed elections, and religion.
Many of these have persisted and eluded our best efforts at resolution but that should not deter us,” he counselled and expressed joy that with institutions like the KAIPTC, “we are building and expanding our local capacity for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in our region”.
He urged the graduands not to consider their newly acquired competence as opportunities merely to start a vocation. “In reality, you have an opportunity to cause a change on the continent, to improve the lives of people and enhance human dignity.”
The Vice-President pledged the government’s continued support to the KAIPTC and said funds would be provided for the construction of the academic block that would be devoted to research activities.
He said government would also provide additional capacity for meeting the centre’s overall mission aside internet-based teaching capabilities that would be launched soon.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur thanked Ghana’s development partners for the continued support offered the centre, including core funding to run the KAIPTC.
The Commandant of the KAIPTC, Major-General Obed Boamah Akwa, said the graduation was the fourth in a series, announcing that the centre had introduced a doctor of philosophy course in International Conflict Management.
He said as part of the course, students had to research deeply and understand the complexities of the issues.
By Samuel Nuamah