Albert Kan-Dapaah (left), Minister of National Security, interacting with Mochizuki Hisanobu (2nd from right), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana; Dr Angela Lusigi (3rd from right), UNDP Resident Representative; Patience Agyare-Kwabi (left), Director for Women, Youth, Peace and Security Institute at the KAIPTC, and other dignitaries.
Albert Kan-Dapaah (left), Minister of National Security, interacting with Mochizuki Hisanobu (2nd from right), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana; Dr Angela Lusigi (3rd from right), UNDP Resident Representative; Patience Agyare-Kwabi (left), Director for Women, Youth, Peace and Security Institute at the KAIPTC, and other dignitaries.

KAIPTC launches new project under Accra Initiative 

The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has launched a new project under the Accra Initiative (AI), a comprehensive security arrangement among seven West African countries.

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The one-year project: "Support to strengthen capacities for promoting efficiency in the implementation of Accra Initiative in West Africa and the Sahel", is aimed at increasing awareness of the AI among citizens of the seven-member countries comprising Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger with Nigeria participating as an observer.

It is also to strengthen collaboration and cooperation among security personnel to help curb violent extremism, transnational crimes and terrorism in the West African subregion and the sahel. 

Charge

Moreover, the new project is expected to lead the charge in improving engagements between AI policy makers and community members to enhance security initiatives. 

Addressing the gathering, the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah said no country in West Africa was immune to terrorists attacks; adding that there was the need for drastic measures and reinforced commitment by all countries to deal with the threat terrorism posed.

He noted that the global terrorism index 2023 indicated that 26 per cent of attacks were from the sahel and also accounted for a quarter of deaths related to terrorism. 

That, according to him, was turning West Africa into a hub of terrorist groups especially as the attacks of these were mapped to be drifting towards coastal West Africa.

He added that no country in the subregion believed terrorism would become a major issue confronting them in the 21st century, hence, much investment had not been made in security to deal with those threats in the past. 

However, the situation was now different and would require that conscious investment and increased budgetary allocation was made for the security.

Fright

Mr Kan-Dapaah said the terrorism taking place in West Africa and the Sahel was frightening and different from all other forms of terrorism in Europe and America.

He explained that while the terrorism overseas was to cause fear and panic, in West Africa, the terrorist groups were seeking to capture power and assume the reins of the countries.

The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mochizuki Hisanobu, said the Japanese government was committed to fostering peace and security in the region as it had consistently been articulated in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). 

"At TICAD 8 in Tunis, Japan committed to fostering cooperation through support for adequate training for African-led peace support missions and capacity building in Africa. This new project we are launching today confirms the commitment we made at TICAD 8 and the Prime Minister’s commitment made in Accra last year," he said.

He added that the commitment of Japan to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and West Africa reflected in Prime Minister Kishida' announcement last year during a visit to Ghana where he indicated that Japan would invest US$ 500 million over the next three years to contribute to peace and stability as well as promote sustainable growth in the Sahel region and neighbouring Gulf of Guinea coastal countries. 

Steadfast

The UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Angela Lusigi, said the UNDP remained steadfast in its commitment to support all efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. 

The project, according to her, "aligns with global UNDP Prevention Offer 2022-2025, which calls for a reinvigorated, concerted response and greater investments in prevention, in line with the recently launched UN SG's Agenda for Peace".

She urged stakeholders including the UNDP to work together to "confront the challenges before us with resolve and determination, knowing that our collective action today will shape the future of generations to come".

Background 

The Accra Initiative was launched in 2017 by Ghana during its Chairmanship of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). 

It aims to prevent the spillover of terrorism from the Sahel into coastal West African nations. 

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