The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in collaboration with the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MoD), has commenced a two-week comprehensive course to train senior Political Advisors (PolAds) of heads of state and UN/AU Missions on their core mandate.
The training programme dubbed ‘Political advisor course for peace support operations in Africa’, would for the next two-weeks host 20 senior security personnel from various African countries who serve as security advisors to various heads of state on conflict and crises.
According to the management of KAIPTC, the overall objective of the course is to train senior political advisors for UN missions in Africa, Africa Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) operations and missions, in order to enable them know the core task of political advisors working on conflict and improve the quality of information they provide.
Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Francis Ofori, addressing the participants at the programme, reiterated the relevance of the course at such a crucial time on the continent, emphasizing that the West African sub-region and the entire continent has been bedeviled with conflicts most of which has affected vulnerable segments of the population.
“The role of the PolAds is very crucial in a mission to provide the mission leadership with proper analysis of political development, trends and emerging issues in the country or region, and making recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern.
This formal training of political advisors for commanders of peace operations and heads of missions of UN, AU or regional economic groupings, is in line with strategic objective-1 of the KAIPTC-five years objective plan. This particular pillar is to enhance the capacity of AU, ECOWAS and the likes in enforcing peace and unity in Africa,” he said.
Counsellor Guenther Barnet, representative from the Austrian Ministry of Defence, on his part, stated that Austria is committed to assisting African countries especially in the area of peace and security because military from Africa played a key role in Austrians fight in the 19th century wars among others and their people and governments continue to be grateful for that support.
“Personally, I have been a political advisor since 1992 to now and I see PolAds as an art and with the art, comes the craftmanship which you have to know and understand all the things that happen in that space; the methods, techniques, strategies and putting it into context,” he said.