The United Kingdom (UK) on Monday lauded Ghana’s leading role and contributions to peace support operations in West Africa.
Mr Peter Jones, UK High Commissioner in Ghana, said this during the opening ceremony of a course on “Managing defence in a wider security context” in Accra.
The course is being organized jointly by Cranfield University in the UK and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with sponsorship from the UK government.
The High Commissioner said: “But there is no room for complacency and there can be no let up in the continuous strive for excellence at every level throughout government and the security sector.”
“Our security challenges are increasingly transnational in nature – whether it is the threat from extremism and terrorism in Sahel, or the threat from piracy and other crime in the Gulf of Guinea, we have a shared interest in ensuring that the conditions of stability are well established and reinforced where necessary”.
Mr Jones said 2013 had been exceptional for the UK/Ghana relationship, adding that: “In June, we were delighted to welcome President John Dramani Mahama and his senior Ministerial team to London for a bilateral programme, including meeting Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as engaging with other African and international leaders in the context of the UK’s Presidency of the G8”.
Mr Jones noted that last year, several senior UK officials such as the Foreign and Development Secretaries, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and the Minister of International Security also visited Ghana, which represented an intensification of an already strong and close partnership.
“Ghana matters to us – Ghana is the UK’s third largest market in sub-Sahara Africa and UK exports increased by 20 per cent in 2012.
“Ghana’s recent history is a living proof of the importance of democracy and the inter-connectedness of democracy, good governance and economic development.
Major General Obed Boamah Akwa, Commandant of the KAIPTC, said Ghana had been generally perceived as a stable and peaceful nation in a sub-region plagued by protracted conflicts and political instability.
He said however, beneath this veneer of peace is the fundamental issue of the role of the security sector in ensuring the continuity and improvement of peaceful order.
The Commandant said reforms aimed at maintaining professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness of the security sector had become an on-going endeavor.
He said the course brought together 35 participants from varied fields in Ghana including Parliament, the Armed Forces, Police Service, the Narcotic Control, National Security and Civil Society Organisations.
Maj Gen Akwa said the course aimed at equipping participants with the skills needed to facilitate their contribution to the development, implementation and review of national security and defence policies.
Dr Laura Cleary, Head of the Centre for International Security and Resilience, Cranfield University, is leading a team of facilitators and instructors for the course.