SADC Zimbabwe peacekeeping training centre boosted by German aid


Ongoing and generous assistance from Germany, via its Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will see cost savings for soldiers and officers attending courses at the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) regional peacekeeping training centre (RPTC) in Zimbabwe.

Ulrich Klockner, German ambassador to Zimabwe, recently handed over renovated guest rooms and equipment to RPTC Commandant Brigadier General Christopher Chellah.

With sufficient accommodation now available at the 16 acre RPTC it means visiting military staff will not have to pay extra for hotel or other accommodation while on course.

Germany has a 10-year-long history of co-operation with SADC and has been closely involved with the organisation’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation since 2008.

Over the last five years the European country through its GIZ aid agency has enabled Euro 2,2 million for the RPTC. The period August 2011 to January this year saw Euro 1,6 million allocated for the development of training curricula and the implementation of multi-dimensional training courses for military, police, correctional and civilian personnel. Part of the funding has been earmarked for institutional and personal capacity development of RTPC staff.

Support by the German Government enabled RPTC to run 18 events during that period, from curriculum development workshops and co-ordination seminars with national training centres to the implementation of two week training courses. It supported the development of a strategic plan for the RPTC and facilitated visits to the UN Mission to Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO), the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) as well as the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF).

GIZ also assisted RPTC in acquiring two vehicles, a generator as well as furniture, office and kitchen equipment.

Speaking at the official handover Chellah stressed the importance of SADC having a properly equipped peace mission training centre.
“It is important to bring representatives from all SADC states together for joint training to exercise for real-life situations when people from different backgrounds and cultures are deployed alongside each other on peace support missions,” he said.

Klockner said the centre, in addition to providing essential peacekeeping and peace support training for SADC states, would also provide similar services to international peace support operations.
“As SADC’s centre of excellence for peacekeeping training RTPC plays an important role in creating and maintaining African capacities to enable and sustain peace in the region and beyond.”