Accra, GHANA— On November 9, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan officially presented a skills-based Disaster Management Curriculum to Major General Francis Ofori, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC). Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Commandant, Air Commodore George Kweku Arko Dadzie, and some members of KAIPTC’s Executive Management Committee.
During her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan noted that the “collaboration among the U.S. Embassy, USAFRICOM, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center, and the Governments of Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal is a testament to the extensive network of productive U.S. partnerships throughout West Africa.”
The curriculum was produced by United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in partnership with KAIPTC and consists of twelve disaster management courses (six in English and six in French) that build and support national capacity and professionalization of disaster managers across civilian, military, private and nonprofit sectors to deepen their knowledge and skills in emergency/disaster responses, actions, and strategies. It also includes a train-the-trainer course in English and in French to support KAIPTC in the delivery of the curriculum. The curriculum will be fully owned, managed, and delivered by KAIPTC to directly enhance West African partner nation capabilities.
The curriculum has already generated positive outcomes across the region as a result of the pilot courses delivered to 250 select representatives from Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo during the development of the curriculum. Notable outcomes include the enhanced ability to develop training exercises, the creation of disaster management communication plans, and the development of crisis response plans using skills learned during the courses.
The Commandant of KAIPTC Major General Francis Ofori said; “The addition of the DMP to our training portfolio is a great milestone because it furthers our vision to be the preferred international Center that provides relevant training to make Africa peaceful and secure. We are very grateful to USAFRICOM for their investment and technical guidance/advice to develop and sustain the program.”
USAFRICOM provided funding of over $3 million to develop the curriculum, including reviews by West African disaster management professionals, a pilot of each course in English and in French and technical assistance to ensure the program’s sustainability.
KAIPTC Disaster Management Curriculum Outdooring
As Prepared Remarks for U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center
November 9, 2020 12:00pm
Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center Major General Francis Ofori;
Deputy Commandant Air Commodore
George Kweku Arko-Dadzie:
(TBD) KAIPTC Executive Committee and
Governing Board of Representatives:
(TBD) Senior Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces:
U.S. Embassy colleagues:
All Protocols Observed:
Thanks very much for the warm welcome to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center! This is actually one of my first official outings since returning to Ghana a few weeks ago, and I’m so pleased to be with you here again today.
I’ve had the honor of attending events in the past at KAIPTC. Every time I visit, I’m reminded of the keen professionalism and dedication of the leadership and staff here. KAIPTC is held in high regard on the continent and beyond, as a shining example of peacekeeping academia on the international stage. Today we get to build on that shining example and continue to realize the mission and vision of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center… “Where Peace Begins.”
Under normal circumstances, that is, if we were not experiencing a global pandemic, I would be accompanied by General Officers from the United States Africa Command, or USAFRICOM, who would have been thrilled to celebrate such a momentous, collaborative achievement in person. Also, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be looking out an audience of people wearing masks! But I am glad you are, for we must continue to respect the Covid-19 protocols. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
But these are not normal circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly reshaped every aspect of our lives. The way governments at the local, regional, and national levels handle the response to the pandemic is critically important to the health and well-being of citizens across the globe.
This gives a particular importance to the work product we’re outdooring today, which will assist governments throughout the region in responding to disasters. From earthquakes to pandemics, the Center will now be capable of educating, and building the capacity of, disaster management professionals from all over the region. Not only will this new course material further the mission and vision of the Center, it will also contribute to the lasting legacy of the honorable Kofi Annan himself, who was acutely aware of the destabilizing effects of natural and man-made disasters, as well as the need to work together as an international community in responding to those disasters. As he so eloquently noted:
“Whether our challenge is peacemaking, nation-building, democratization, or responding to natural or man-made disasters, we have seen that even the strongest amongst us cannot succeed alone.” That drive for nations to work together to tackle our most difficult problems is what started this West Africa Disaster Management Program over three years ago, and it’s what will make this program successful for years to come.
So, with that, allow me to share with you a brief history of the program we are outdooring today. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense approved funding to enable KAIPTC’s goal of developing and piloting a set of Disaster Management courses as a follow-on to the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI). That initiative emerged from the 2015 West Africa Ebola crisis.
USAFRICOM provided funding of over $3 million to develop the curriculum, including reviews by U.S. and West African disaster management professionals, a pilot of each course in English and in French, and technical assistance to ensure the program’s sustainability. The aim of this initiative was to co-create a sustainable, West Africa-focused, professional program to train disaster management professionals from the sub-region. KAIPTC was the perfect partner for establishing that hub.
Today, after more than three years of collaborative efforts, I’m proud to announce that, together, we have accomplished this aim, and we are ready to put it to work!
The collaboration among the U.S. Embassy, USAFRICOM, the Kofi Annan Center, and the Governments of Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal is a testament to the extensive network of productive U.S. partnerships throughout West Africa. While not wishing for any disasters, as I noted earlier, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I’m looking forward to seeing first-hand the dividends this program will produce for disaster management professionals from across the region for years to come, including developing a common approach that will help cross-border planning and coordination.
Major General Ofori, colleagues, and friends … With that introduction, I’m pleased to outdoor the newest addition to the curriculum at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Institute: the West Africa Disaster Management Professional Training Course!
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) was established to build upon and share Ghana’s internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the ECOWAS region and the rest of Africa. The Center delivers training courses in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also offers Master’s and PhD programs in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. The Center has established a Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) that works to build African capacity to fully implement the Maputo Protocol, and support the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 and its resolutions on women, peace and security in the context of Africa.