On 9 November, US Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S Sullivan officially presented a skills-based Disaster Management Curriculum to Major General Francis Ofori, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
Also present were the Deputy Commandant, Air Commodore George Kweku Arko Dadzie, and some members of KAIPTC’s Executive Management Committee.
During her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan noted that the “collaboration among the US Embassy, Africom, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and the Governments of Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal is a testament to the extensive network of productive US partnerships throughout West Africa.”
The curriculum was produced by US Africa Command (Africom) in partnership with KAIPTC and consists of twelve disaster management courses (six in English and six in French) that build and support national capacity and professionalization of disaster managers across civilian, military, private and nonprofit sectors to deepen their knowledge and skills in emergency/disaster responses, actions, and strategies. It also includes a train-the-trainer course in English and French to support KAIPTC in the delivery of the curriculum. The curriculum will be fully owned, managed, and delivered by KAIPTC to directly enhance West African partner nation capabilities, Africom said.
“The curriculum has already generated positive outcomes across the region as a result of the pilot courses delivered to 250 select representatives from Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo during the development of the curriculum. Notable outcomes include the enhanced ability to develop training exercises, the creation of disaster management communication plans, and the development of crisis response plans using skills learned during the courses.”
The Commandant of KAIPTC Major General Francis Ofori, said; “The addition of the DMP to our training portfolio is a great milestone because it furthers our vision to be the preferred international Centre that provides relevant training to make Africa peaceful and secure. We are very grateful to Africom for their investment and technical guidance/advice to develop and sustain the programme.”
US Africa Command provided over $3 million funding to develop the curriculum, including reviews by West African disaster management professionals, a pilot of each course in English, and in French and technical assistance to ensure the program’s sustainability.