The Government of Norway and the Federal Government of Germany have, for the second time, come on board as sponsors for the 2021 edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum. Also joining as a sponsor this year is the Government of Sweden. This follows the highly-successful maiden edition in 2019 that brought together seven (7) former African Heads of State and high-level delegates and diplomats from the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, the United Nations, the European Union and several organizations on the continent.
Slated for 8th-9th December 2021 at KAIPTC, Teshie, Accra, the KAPS Forum is jointly organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPTC) and the Kofi Annan Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. It will be held under the theme, ‘Democracy and Governance in the Context of Complex Crises in West Africa’. It is the biggest gathering of leaders from the continent in memory of the late His Excellency Kofi Annan, a former UN Secretary General, who was a strong advocate of peace and security across the globe. The annual event will host political leaders, diplomats and experts to dialogue and share ideas on the most critical and evolving peace and security issues on the African continent.
The support from the Government of Norway, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of Sweden towards the second KAPS Forum shows their commitment to rally behind KAIPTC to strengthen collaboration with institution such as the United Nations, African Union, State Agencies, Civil Society Organisations and Private Sector in advancing policy dialogues and improvement in peace and security in Africa as espoused in the Centre’s current strategic plan, 2019 – 2023. The Government of Norway has been a great partner to the Centre since 2009. This partnership has enabled the Centre to implement its vision to provide training in peacebuilding and peace operations; and undertake research on topical issues in peace and security that are aimed at ensuring a peaceful and secure Africa. This vision contributes to efforts at strengthening the structures of the African Union and the ECOWAS to achieve their mandate of preventing, managing, and resolving crises and conflicts, as well promoting post-conflict reconstruction and development on the continent.
Likewise, the German Government, since 2002, has been an avid financial and technical partner of KAIPTC. Besides being one of the foremost funders for the physical and infrastructural establishment of the Centre during its inception, one significant contribution by the German Government is its support to promoting peaceful elections in Ghana and West Africa. Together with the Centre, a course on election violence and security was introduced in 2016 to train selected personnel from the security and law enforcement agencies ahead of Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections held that year. This course was rolled out once again during the 2020 elections, and was subsequently organized to build capacities of security personnel in Mali, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria. With funding support from Germany, KAIPTC has delivered courses on Sexual and Gender Based violence, Police Middle Management, Police Women Leadership, Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime, among others, to security personnel from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and a host of other West African countries.
The Swedish Government, since 2009, provided core funding to the Centre to facilitate the delivery of training courses, research and to support key programmes in Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and still continues its support through earmarked funding. Currently the Swedish Government Agency for Development (SIDA) is funding a three-year project dubbed ‘Enhancing the operationalization of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa’. With KAIPTC as the implementer, the project aims to contribute to improved mechanisms in the implementation of the WPS agenda, focusing on achieving enhanced knowledge among gender and security practitioners on the implementation of mechanisms to prevent terrorism, violent extremism and gender based violence; strengthened capacity of women, youth, security practitioners and gender actors in the prevention of terrorism, among others.
The commitment of the three countries have been unwavering as they continue to support peace and security efforts in West Africa. Through their longstanding partnership, the Centre is making meaningful contributions to support AU and ECOWAS to implement the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the African Governance Architecture (AGA), which ultimately seeks to promote a peaceful and prosperous Africa, that also protects human and people’s rights, good governance and the rule of law. It is expected that the KAPS Forum will bring together about two hundred (200) invited delegates including former African Heads of State and high-level diplomats from governmental and intergovernmental organizations. Among the very important dignitaries expected at the conference are Ghana’s President HE Nana Akufo-Addo; former African Presidents and Heads of State; diplomats and top officials from the Mano River Union, ECOWAS, AU, UN and KAIPTC Goodwill Ambassadors. Other distinguished delegates will include representatives from ECOWAS, AU, UN, Election Management Bodies, Security Agencies, CSOs, EU and Commonwealth.