By Frank Amponsah
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said addressing the root causes of conflicts is important towards consolidating peace and prevent relapse into violence inpost conflict countries.
To this, he urged graduands of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to help address the root causes of conflicts on the continent which he said are “underdevelopment, poverty, corruption, inequitable access to resources, youth unemployment, poor governance, human rights abuse, climate change, weak law enforcement and governance institutions, and the lack of free and fair elections.”
President Akufo-Addo gave this advice yesterday when he delivered the graduation address at the joint graduating ceremony of students who have completed the Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security Studies, Master of Arts in Gender, Peace & Security, and Executive Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace & Security Studies programmes from KAIPTC.
He called on graduands to also bear in mind that the traditional challenges to security on the continent, such as chieftaincy conflicts, armed robberies, land disputes, religious intolerance, ethnic conflicts and political rivalry, are being compounded by contemporary threats like drug and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, cyber-crime and activities of nomadic herdsmen.
He averred that the emergence of transnational organised crimes, together with the evolving nature of terrorism, especially in the Sahel region, will continue to undermine efforts of creating a progressive, prosperous, peaceful and stable continent.
He told graduands: “Having gone through this institution, you are primed with problem-solving ideas and initiatives: the nation, the continent of Africa, and the world at large await your contributions, no matter how small, to securing our peace. There is, today, limited room for conventional thinking. Therefore, always strive to be different, and do not be afraid of failure.”
Gov’t will support KAIPTC
Supporting KAIPTC to carry out its mandate, President Akufo-Addo indicated, is one thing that has to come naturally to Government.
“Moreover, the Centre’s efforts to expand its physical infrastructure, as part of a number of strategic activities, is worthy of mention. This institution’s long-term financial and institutional sustainability is dear to Government,” he said.
Through the Ministry of Finance, President Akufo-Addo assured that Government will support KAIPTC to complete its Training and Academic Block, to guarantee additional training opportunities for interested participants, and to assure the roll-out of additional academic programmes to meet the expected demand, thereby, increasing the stock of critical peace and security practitioners and experts in dire need on the continent.
With Government embarking on an industrialisation agenda, with the aim of transforming the structure of the Ghanaian economy from one dependent on the production and export of raw materials to a knowledge-based, value-added, industrialised economy, with a modernized agriculture, it was the expectation of President Akufo-Addo “that institutions of higher learning, such as Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, will assist in this regard, and gear their programmes and courses towards imparting the critical skills needed for the 21st century.”
In thanking the past and current members of the Governing Board and Executive Management of Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre for the great work in superintending over the institution, President Akufo-Addo extended a well-deserved appreciation to all the hard working staff of the Centre for their commitment and dedication.
“We must all remain committed to our collective vision – to build a new African civilisation, where the rule of law is not a slogan, but a directive principle of governance; where we deliver social and economic transformation that has a meaningful impact on the lives of our peoples; where strong and vibrant economies create jobs for the masses of African youth, and, thereby, create societies of opportunities and aspirations for all; where the African peoples are no longer pawns nor victims of the world order; and where the vision of our founding fathers of a progressive and prosperous Africa is manifest. Let us be up and doing. Our destiny beckons,” President Akufo-Addo said.