President Akufo-Addo has announced that his government has kick-started a massive expansion of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in order to strategically position the country’s military to deal with the growing threats of terrorism and violent extremism in West Africa, the Sahel and more importantly, in neigbouring Burkina Faso.
Addressing the Ghana Military Academy 2023 graduation parade for regular career course 62 and short service commission / special duties course 60 at the forecourt of the Academy, President Akufo-Addo said his administration has approved various proposals and measures aimed at expanding the Ghana Armed Forces to be positioned strategically to deal with the unavoidable challenge posed by the terrorism phenomenon.
“In supporting this mandate, I have in recent times approved some measures for the expansion of our nations Armed Forces. The newly promulgated establishments and units include the National College of Defence Studies, Twelve Mechanized Battalion Units and Sargent Major’s Academy. Similarly, the directorates of military records and public relations have been upgraded to departments.
“The Air Force Support Services Brigade Group in Burma Camp and the Armed Forces Medical Corps have also been expanded. Additionally, I have approved the promulgation of Ghana Armed Forces Central Band, Armed Forces Musical School, Armed Forces Fire Service, the School of Ordinance and the Artillery Training School after they were reviewed. The later, is expected to enhance the Armed Forces capabilities to deal decisively with contemporary threats within and outside the country” President Akufo-Addo said.
“The eminent threats in the Northern part of Ghana have necessitated the establishment of forward operating and logistics bases along our entire Northern border. So far, government has awarded contracts for the construction 12 forward operating bases and three logistics bases to help contain the threats emanating from across our northern frontiers.
“These operating bases which are at various stages of completion will be resourced with adequate personnel and logistics to deal with such threats that have the potential to disrupt the peace and stability of our country” Akufo-Addo added.
President Akufo- Addo describe the “parade [as] a special one]. He explained that it is special because “the number of officers being commissioned into service is the highest in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces”.
“On parade are two hundred and ninety-two (292) cadets, including two allied cadets from the Republic of Guinea, who are all well poised to be commissioned into their respective Armed Forces” the President stated.
President Akufo-Addo commended the entire Ghana Armed Forces for her dedication and commitment to the rule of law and democratic governance and constitutional governance in the country inspite of multiple coup d’états recorded in West Africa and other parts of the continent.
“In helping to maintain peace and security, our men and women in uniform are exposed to the negative effects of wars and undemocratic changes of government. It is therefore praiseworthy that the Armed Forces continue to pledge their support to our democratic system of governance in the face of coup d’états across the region” President Akufo-Addo remarked.
“I commend the continuing dedication of our Armed Forces to upholding constitutional rule in our country. The sacrifices and efforts they have made have imprinted Ghana’s name globally in the history of peace keeping” Akufo-Addo further remarked.
Award receiving officers
President Akufo-Addo presented four main awards at the parade grounds. First was the to the best foreign cadet in order of merit of the Regular Career Course 62 (best allied cadet) to Senior Cadet (S/CDT) Camara Alpha Yaya.
Second was the (Academic Cane) award given to the officer cadet, who placed 3rd in the cumulative order of merit of the Regular Career Course 62, Junior Under Officer (JUO) Kpodo George Delali received the award.
The third award, (Military Cane), went to the officer cadet, who placed 2nd in the cumulative order of merit of the Regular Career Course 62, Junior Under Officer (JUO) Frimpong Esther.
The last award, (Sword of Honour) given to the officer cadet adjudged the best all-around cadet of the Regular Career Course 62, went to Senior Under Officer (SUO) Awotwi Jacob Vanderpuye.