The Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has organized the maiden edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum in Accra, Ghana, to facilitate discussions on evolving trends in peace and security in Africa. The forum was also organized to honor the sterling achievements of the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory.
Under the theme, ‘Peace Operations in the Context of Violent Extremism in Africa’, the forum was held under the Distinguished patronage of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS).
Among the high level delegates were seven former African Heads of State namely; H.E. Pierre Buyoya, Former President of Burundi and AU High Representative to Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E Catharine Samba-Panza, Former President of Central African Republic, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Former President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone, Professor Amos Claudius Sawyer, Former President of Liberia, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former President of Ghana.
Addressing the delegates at the opening ceremony, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshall Griffiths S. Evans shared the rationale behind the forum;
“The forum seeks to provide a platform for robust engagement on critical peace and security issues affecting the African continent. Our actions are guided by our mission to foster peace and stability through the provision of a globally-recognized capacity and policy support for all actors on African peace and security issues”, he stated.
In his address, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, identified key interventions which can be implemented to tackle violent extremism.
“It is important that we promote and develop, on the continent, a system and culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby our people are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability”, he stressed.
He also threw more light on Ghana’s counter terrorism policy to combat violent extremism.
“Our Counter Terrorism Policy seeks to prevent acts of terrorism in the country. The Counter Terrorism Policy has led to the setting up of a Counter Terrorism Unit, within the National Security Council Secretariat, to lead and co-ordinate our efforts in the fight. Ghana has adopted a well-coordinated Inter Agency Approach, which encourages the timely sharing of information and intelligence, operational coordination and joint strategy formulation, and has proved essential towards ensuring the efficient execution of the country’s Counter Terrorism Policy”, he explained.
The Kofi Annan Forum brought together over two hundred high-level delegates and diplomats from governmental and intergovernmental organizations (including the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, United Nations and European Union). Security professionals and representatives from policy and research think tanks, development partners, training institutions and civil society groups were all present to participate in the dialogues.
The forum also seeks to deepen the collaboration between KAIPTC and international organisations such as the United Nations, African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Governments, development partners, civil society organisations and the business community.