Five former African Heads of State visit KAIPTC, plant trees


Five African Former Heads of State who attended the 7th African Leadership Forum in Accra last week, with the theme ‘Promoting Intra-African Trade to Unlock Agricultural Potential in Africa’, took time off their busy schedules to plant trees at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre’s (KAIPTC) ‘Peace Garden’ on May 26.

The former Presidents were Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania (leader of the delegation), Dr. Moncef Marzouki – former President of Tunisia, Thomas Yayi Boni – former President of Benin, Ernest  Bai Koroma ­– former President of Sierra Leone, and Haile Mariam Dessalegn – former Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and Secretary-General of the African  Continental Free Trade Area, Mr. Wamkele Mene, accomnpanied the delegation.

Major-General Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant of the KAIPTC, welcomed the former African leaders and said the vision of KAIPTC is to support continental and regional efforts in the promotion of peace and security in Africa.

He indicated that KAIPTC’s research and training feeds into the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and ECOWAS Peace and Security frameworks and Architecture.

The Commandant noted that KAIPTC’s ‘Peace Garden’ has presented the space for many distinguished leaders and personalities across the world to leave footprints in the sands of time as testimony of the sacrifices they are eternally willing to make to give peace a chance on the continent and beyond.

Commandant Addo Gyane welcomed the former African leaders as Goodwill Ambassadors in the promotion of peace in Africa and beyond.

For his part, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania thanked the Commandant for the opportunity to visit KAIPTC, which he described as a great centre and encouraged them to continue the good work it is doing in promoting peace on the continent.

Dr. Kikwetwe paid glowing tribute the late Kofi Annan of blessed memory and observed how each one of the former Heads of state had an opportunity to work with him, indicating his passing was a sad occasion for the world and he would have wished to accompany him to his lasting resting place but that was not possible.

He explained the African Leadership Forum, which was established by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Festus Mogae, Benjamin Mpaka, is a forum for former leaders to discuss and share knowledge with sitting leaders in Africa. So far, six meetings have been held – with the one in Accra making it seven – to discuss different issues of socio-economic growth and development for Africa.

He concurred with the KAIPTC commandant, who spoke about the ravages of climate change, and agreed that the issue is also one of security since the Commandant extended an invitation to the leaders to attend this year’s Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum in December, which has as its theme ‘Climate Diversity and Maritime Safety: Opportunities and Challenges to Silencing the Guns by 2030 and Beyond’.

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