Appropriate responses and the right means of resolving conflicts and the management of crisis, should remain on the front burner of all stakeholders, if African countries are to sustain their economic potentials, irrespective of how well-endowed they are.
These were remarks by the Guest-of-Honour, Director General, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) – Nana Eric Agyemang-Prempeh, at the closing ceremony of a two-week Conflict And Crisis Management Course 2022, organized by the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), from Monday 11 to Friday 22 July, 2022, at the Military College, Teshie Ridge.
The Course aimed at providing 121 participants – 85 being Regular Students/Military Officers of the College, 59 of the 85 being from the Ghana Armed Forces, and 26 from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cote dIvoire, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo – with clear understanding of conflict and crisis management, in order for institutions concerned to work more effectively, efficiently and cohesively.
Other participants were from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Tema Oil Refinery, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Graphic Communications, Ghana’s National Security Council, Ghana Health Service and NADMO.
Notable objectives of the 2022 module were; 1) to develop understanding of various aspects of conflict and crisis management, 2) practice conflict and crisis management in simulation exercises, 3) create and reinforce links between personnel and agencies, 4) examine opportunities for future joint training and education in conflict and crisis management and 5) create and develop professional linkages between institutions.
Referencing events of floods which claimed lives and properties in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, the la Cote dIvoire deadly floods and landslides, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Beirut explosion in Lebanon, Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis, the Yemen civil war and food crisis, Nana Agyemang-Prempeh called for acquisition of adequate skills to effectively manage conflicts across the African continent.
The NADMO boss said the objectives of the course are relevant and important to national and continental developmental efforts, in that there must be a creation and reinforcement of links between personnel and agencies concerned in the management of any crisis.
Crisis management is a multi-agency task which requires varied skills and multiple capabilities, and thus, no single agency would be effective in managing even the simplest national crisis, hence the need for an important success factor, which is the coordination of efforts of all agencies involved, preceding which must be a continual building of capacity, Nana Agyemang-Prempeh said.
Nana Agyemang-Prempeh further averred that early warning could be achieved through the needed investment in intelligence and surveillance, promising that NADMO will collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a robust early warning system, as well as a swift and robust response to conflicts and crises.
He finally urged all nations to institute a well-rehearsed plan in which all stakeholders are very clear of their roles in the plan, and commended the Military College for creating the opportunity for resource persons from academia and other experts in the field, to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences with participants.
Nana Agyemang-Prempeh applauded GAFCSC for introducing innovative programmes in its curricula, to bring together agencies of the state to learn and deliberate on common approaches to important national issues.
At the Course, participants were challenged to devise strategies for dealing with conflicts and crises in Ghana – recommendations which would be forwarded to appropriate policymakers and key stakeholders in conflict and crisis management, be fine-tuned and incorporated into the national conflict and crisis management plans.
The closing ceremony of GAFCSC’s Conflict And Crisis Management Course 22, which it collaborated with the British High Commission in Ghana and Cranfield University to organize, was attended by the Commandant, GAFCSC – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, his Deputy and Assistant Commandants, Dean of Academic Studies, Chief Instructors, Faculty Members, Resource Persons and Directing Staff.