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KAIPTC begins two-week political advisor course for Peace Support Operations in Africa

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
General News KAIPTC begins two-week political advisor course for Peace Support Operations in Africa
JUL 5, 2022 LISTEN

The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in collaboration with the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is holding a two-week Political Advisor Course for Peace Support Operations in Africa.

The course which is being run at the KAIPTC in Accra officially commenced on Monday, July 4, 2022.

The overall objective of the course is to train Political Advisors for UN Missions in Africa, AU and ECOWAS operations and missions.

It is also meant to enable senior personnel from African countries and organizations to know the core tasks of Political Advisors (PolAds) working on conflict and crisis and improve the quality of information they provide.

Delivering his welcome address during the opening ceremony of the course, KAIPTC Commandant Major General Francis Ofori stressed that the role of the political advisor in a mission is very critical for providing the mission leadership with proper analysis of political developments, trends and emerging issues in the country or region and making recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern.

Major General Francis OforiMajor General Francis Ofori

He explained that the course is being organised to formalise training of Political Advisors for Commanders of Operations and/or Heads of Missions of UN/AU/ECOWAS missions to seal any vacuum created by the absence of peace in states which enables discord and anarchy to prevail, resulting in stagnation and devastation of societies.

Major General Francis Ofori in his speech encouraged participants of the Political Advisor Course to take advantage of the excellent facilities at KAIPTC, and the expertise of course facilitators and directors to maximise the outcome of the training.

“I can assure you that the facilitators on this course, with their diverse backgrounds and rich experience, will definitely strive to equip you with the necessary tools to enable you function effectively and efficiently in your current or future roles as Political Advisors.

“I have no doubt that this training will expose you to internationally-required competencies and standards for Political Advisors and I am certain that it will enable you to better understand the dynamics of conflict and crises management in order to function effectively in MultiDimensional Peace Support Operations,” the KAIPTC Commandant said.

In his concluding remarks, Major General Francis Ofori extended appreciation to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence for their contribution towards putting together the training cost including covering the costs for the course.

“I want to thank the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence for the initiative to bring this course to KAIPTC and the generous support to our joint effort to strengthening peace and security in Africa. The Centre is most grateful,” Major General Francis Ofori emphasised.

Delivering an address, Counsellor Günther Barnet representing the Austrian Ministry of Defense underscored the importance of the course, insisting that peace cannot be undermined.

He charged participants from the various African counties to take advantage of the course and gather knowledge that will be beneficial in sustaining peace in their states, and on the continent at large.

“We have to adapt our technique. You have to have a lot of knowledge, and you need luck.

“With this, I guarantee that all of you can do your job.

“Take advantage of this course and better yourself over the next two weeks you will be taking part in this course,” Counsellor Günther Barnet said in his address.

Counsellor Guuml;nther BarnetCounsellor Günther Barnet

He further disclosed that the Austrian Ministry of Defense remains committed to playing a role in peacekeeping and will do all it can to keep the course running to ensure it becomes bigger and better in subsequent editions.

In all, 23 participants from various countries are set to be taken through relevant approaches in peace support operations such as Negotiation and Mediation, Public Diplomacy, Communication through the Media, the Possible Role of PolAds in ECOWAS and AU Operations and Missions, the Way Ahead in International Crisis and Conflict Management amongst others.

Background of Political Advisor Course:

The complexity of the political and security environment in many African regions, where missions and operations are launched makes it challenging for heads of missions and operational commanders to thoroughly assess, monitor and analyze the impact and the political consequences of their actions.

Also, due to the many different tasks, these heads of missions and commanders have to perform, they often cannot be aware of the full spectrum of developments from the strategic and international levels to domestic and regional situations.

All these challenges could have an influence on the success of a mission/operation. As a result, the role of the political advisor is very critical for providing the leadership with proper analyzes of developments, trends and emerging issues in the country or region and making recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern.

Despite the potentially important role of Political Advisors (PolAds) and significant engagement of African countries in African missions and operations, a formalized training of PolAds for Commanders of Operations and/or Heads of Missions has so far not been introduced in Africa.

It is for these reasons that the KAIPTC and Austrian MoD are offering this course to build the capacity of potential and existing practitioners.

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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