By Pamela Ofori-Boateng, Africa In Focus News Reporter
Vice President, Hon Kwesi Amissah- Arthur has mentioned that next year, 2015, promises to be a challenging one for West African democracy since national elections are scheduled in five ECOWAS countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire; Guinea; Nigeria; and Togo
He made this assertion at a joint graduation ceremony for third batch of students of the Master of Arts in Conflicts, Peace and Security (MCPS) and the second batch of students of the Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security (MGPS) at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
According to him, electoral disputes have been a major source of instability as there are people who seek to profit from any misunderstanding.” “We need therefore to guard against the exploitation of differences or disputes. West Africa must not revert to the condition of war and conflict”, he added.
Still delivering the key note address, the vice president Hon. Amissah -Arthur observed that, West Africa, as a continent, is currently confronting challenges by people who, through the force of arms and various acts of terror, are seeking to impose their worldview on others.
“In the last quarter century, our sub-region has experienced extraordinary war and conflict. We are therefore committed to resolving our problems without resorting to warfare. Our societies have begun a long process of recovery and have started to enjoy a peace dividend because we are determined to accommodate all people whether they practice different religions, or have a different cultures and customs.
He congratulated the graduating class for their hard work and commitment throughout their training period and asked them to apply the knowledge acquired in their various endeavors.
Prof. Kwaku Osei, Dean of students of Academic Affairs, presented special academic awards to two distinguished personalities: Maj. Gen. Anyidoho and Dr. Charles Amlaner for their dedication and immense contribution to the growth of KAIPTC.
The graduants were 67 in number, with 40 being males and 37 being females. Though majority of the students were Ghanaians, the overall best student for each of the programmes studied, were from Japan and Nigeria respectively.
The best student for the Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security was Miss Kanko Oshigama and Mrs. Ugonna Ukaigwe was adjudged the best student for Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security.
Mrs. Ukaigwe who spoke on behalf of the graduating class noted that strength is not a preserve of a particular gender and that they have been equipped to view all situations with their gender glasses on. She thanked the lecturers, administration and staff of the training Institute for their enormous support.
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre will soon commence a Certificate course in Gender, Peace and Security and will follow it up with a doctoral programme in International Conflict Management.