A total of 50 junior officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have been enlisted in a two-week minor staff duties cadre programme designed to train them in command and staff functions in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping setup.
The two-week officers training programme is aimed at enhancing the leadership, analytical and communication skills of the participants to perform command and staff functions in the UN setup.
The programme is an initiative of the ‘Elsie Initiative’ Implementation Committee, an advocacy platform for women participation in peacekeeping, of the Canadian High Commission to Ghana.
Ms Diane Tisdall, a Senior Liaison Officer at the Canadian High Commission to Ghana, said this initiative was one of the first activities of the Elsie Initiative to deepen relation between Ghana and Canada to increase the meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping operations, hence the majority of participants being women.
She said Canada and Ghana over the next few years would explore ways in protection, equipment, recruitment training, and promotional opportunities for staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Ms Tisdall said, however, the programme would not only focus on the number of women in peacekeeping, but the broad spectrum of how women can meaningfully be engaged in the UN set up peacekeeping process.
“When women participate in peacekeeping missions the communities respond better, they share more information with UN people in their country, as well as reduce the level of sexual exploitation of the vulnerable,” she said.
Brig. Gen. Michael Kweku Akpatse, Assistant Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, said at the end of the training participants would be able to understand the techniques used in general /operational staff work, targeting UN correspondence, operational briefs and operational report writing.
He said participants would understand the structural role and functions of the United Nations and its sister organisations in peacekeeping environments and some aspects of international and domestic affairs and how these influence security, intelligence, socioeconomic and political stability in UN operations.
“It would enhance their understanding of the relationship and application of command, leadership and communication and the fundamentals of Military Decision Making Process and its application in the UN Procurement Support Office (PSO) environment,” he said.
He said the two-week officers training would create a platform for professionals and key personalities with diverse exposure in PSO and other fields to share experiences with participants and also understand the various dimensions, duties, responsibilities and framework of PSO.