Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday advised students undertaking the Masters of Arts in Conflict Resolution at the Kofi Annan International Peace-keeping Centre (KAIPC) to set standards for the entire African Continent.
He said they could set those standards by making what they learnt practical in the resolution of both internal and external conflicts in the sub-region.
Vice President Mahama gave the advice when he inaugurated the Post Graduate Programmes of the KAIPC and the Matriculation of 33 M.A. students in Conflict Resolution at the Centre.
The Centre, which is one of the three institutions running such courses in the sub-region, has over the years trained officers of various security services, civil and public servants in conflict resolution and peace keeping from Ghana, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Central Africa.
Vice President Mahama said the course was necessary and relevant in the face of rising conflicts and rebellions in West Africa, and of late North African countries, and called on participants to be ambassadors of peace upon completion.
He gave the assurance that government would offer the necessary support for the running and success of the programmes at the Centre and called on all the Regional and District Security Councils to patronise the programmes to effectively equip their officers to undertake negotiations and settlement in their domains.
Vice President Mahama appealed to the management of the Centre to develop sophisticated mechanisms that would counter the rising crime wave through the use of internet and other communication manipulations.
Dr Kwesi Anning, Acting Dean of the Post Graduate Programmes, expressed the determination to make the Centre an international hub of conflict resolution and to set good conflict management practices and standards for other countries and continents.
He said they were liaising with other credible peace management organisations in other countries to attract high profile students and personalities from all over the world and to minimise the spate of conflicts.
Professor Susan L. Woodward of the City University of New York Graduate Centre attributed the spate of conflicts on the continent to lack of transparency on the part of political leaders and called for accountability at all levels to reduce such conflicts.