H. E. Stephanie S. Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
Opening Remarks –International Women’s Day Alumni Event
at the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC), Accra
March 8, 2022 at (12:00pm)
The former Chief Justice of Ghana,
Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo;
The Executive Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office of Ghana,
Commissioner of Police Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah.
The U.S. FBI Legal Attaché for Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso,
Ladies and (our few) Gentlemen,
All protocols observed:
I’m honored to be with you today as we celebrate International Women’s Day. I’d like to thank you all for joining us at the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC) for this remarkable event. I would also like to thank RTC Director Hayward Lampley and his team for putting this event together.
I want to recognize our 846 female alumnae from the RTC program, who show every day that a successful career in law enforcement is possible for women. Each of you has worked hard and had to prove yourself in a male-dominated profession even as you contribute to national and global security.
The International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA) and the RTC program recognize the important role you play in promoting law enforcement and criminal justice globally. Organizations that commit to including, supporting, and developing women in leadership are more representative in nature, and thus, better able to support the community as a whole.
With diverse inputs come better outputs. Therefore, the program continues to develop courses like the RTC’s flagship Leadership for Women in Law Enforcement (LWLE) course, to highlight your leadership potential and build your capacity for even higher performance and impact in your jobs.
I have always been interested in this course because it gives women from different countries the opportunity to learn from each other, develop professional contacts, and build strength from shared experiences working in a male-dominated field. That is the power of such targeted training offered at the RTC.
I would also encourage you to share what you’ve learned with your male colleagues. By understanding the unique challenges women face in this field, men can be advocates for women in leadership and specifically support your professional development. Everyone benefits when women are included in leadership!
And though this course might be the pinnacle of courses for women’s development at the RTC, I am happy to say the RTC ensures women are represented in other courses, including Advanced Narcotics Investigations, Cybercrime Investigations, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering, and Anti-Corruption for Judges and Prosecutors. Women alumnae of these programs are agents for change within their organizations as they bring skills back to their units and demonstrate how capable women are at excelling in complex investigations.
Women from the countries represented today, that is, Benin, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, also the United States, can attest to the significance of training opportunities like the ones the RTC offers for our professional development.
As development partners, we recognize the value you bring to the law enforcement and criminal justice profession, and to the fight against transnational organized crime. We celebrate you today and every day for the sacrifices you make to ensure our communities and countries are safer for all.
The U.S. Government, through the ILEA and RTC program, is committed to ensuring that women in law enforcement from our partner nations receive the best capacity-building training we can offer. My team and I look forward to celebrating your professional wins because I know the work women put in on their jobs. A starting point to celebrate your wins will be this year’s ILEA DAY AWARDS in April, where the six ILEA’s around the world showcase the accomplishments of alumni.
This year, our ILEA Day nominees reported successes resulting in the seizure of more than $595 million dollars in proceeds of busted illicit activity as a direct result of training at the RTC. I hope that you continue to share your success stories from the training you attended, so the program can recognize your efforts at the next ILEA Day!
The RTC staff will take you through the process. I encourage you to take advantage of this event to establish new partnerships with your colleagues for future collaborations.
Thank you. I wish you all a Happy International Women’s Day!