Accra, Aug. 6, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Friday, urged Senior Military Officers in Africa to dedicate themselves towards the advancement of peace, unity and collaborative efforts that would deepen democracy in Africa, particularly West Africa.
Addressing a Graduation Ceremony for 46 Senior Military Officers from 13 African countries at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) in Accra, the Vice President stressed Ghana's commitment towards these goals and urged the officers to do likewise.
"I urge you to use the cordial relationships that you have established with your colleagues here to strengthen the relations between your various countries and their armed forces," he advised. The officers from Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Kenya, Mali, Botswana and Tanzania, had completed an 11-month programme in professional courses.
The University of Ghana conferred on nine other officers, including one Nigerian and eight Ghanaians, with the Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
Vice President Mahama encouraged the graduates to build networks so that in times of crises and emergencies they would utilise their relationships to overcome bureaucratic bottlenecks and enhance efficiency.
He commended those who excelled and challenged them to use their knowledge and skills acquired to make a difference in their respective Armed Forces and their country in general.
Major Nana Amponsem-Boateng of the Ghana Army received the Honour Graduate Trophy, the highest award, given to the student, who combined a high academic performance with the widest military experience, professionalism, best tactical ability and significant contribution to the studies on political, economic and international affairs. The Overall Best Allied Student Award went to Major Christopher Adamudu of the Nigerian Army, whose wife caused a sensation when she returned his salute to her and embraced him in a romantic gesture to congratulate him.
Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, tasked the graduates to undertake pragmatic research, saying his institution was ready to collaborate with them to undertake projects for the benefit of society.
Major General Nat Coleman, Commandant of the GAFCSC, said a number of courses the College had organized in recent times included those on security issues, good governance, disaster management and internal crisis management for both military and civilian officers.
He called for support from organisations and civil society groups in the form of computers, books, office equipment and other logistics to complement the Government's inflows so that the College would continue to deliver relevant and modern programmes for the benefit of Africa. Since its establishment in 1976, the College has trained more than 800 Senior Military Officers from different parts in Africa.