With the only Major General (Maj Gen) amongst the 4 November, 1983 group of eleven Army, one Air Force Cadets of the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) Regular Career Course (RCC) Intake 25, trained and groomed for 22 months 2 weeks for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), grounding arms now, the cohort is now let up in the Service; for the rest had earlier mustered out.
On Friday, 11 November 2022, the Commandant of the world-acclaimed Centre-of-Excellence – Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) – Maj Gen Francis Ofori honourably grounded arms from GAF, and was gracefully pulled-out after 37 years, 11 months of service.
In a strong but emotive farewell address at a Handing/Taking Over Parade at the forecourt of the KAIPTC Library, the retired Engineer Officer, who was appointed in September 2019 as the Commandant, cited his leadership philosophy as embodying care-of-personnel and letting what he termed ‘soft issues’ lead the charge, since the human resource available to a leader makes a difference.
The retired General is credited with instituting a long-awaited welfare policy for KAIPTC; a Staff Welfare Bus; seeing to the completion of an office project commenced by his predecessor – Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Evans and christening the structure “GS EVANS BLOCK”; updating the Centre’s Policies and Procedures and introducing new ones for newly created Units.
Additionally, he harnessed the potentials of the diverse components of the KAIPTC staff into a single workforce capable of meeting deadlines, such as seen with the organization of the 2021 Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum at KAIPTC, saw the Centre through the transition from Deutsche Gesellschaft fϋr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) direct support to the new ECOWAS Peace & Security Architecture & Operations (EPSAO) architecture.
Under his supervision, KAIPTC engaged with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to enable the Centre carry out a number of crucial programs; the Centre of Excellence is on the path to roll out an E-Learning regime that should give the Centre additional traction in its bid to be financially sustainable.
Maj Gen Ofori (Rtd) fully rehabilitated 40 out of the 70 rooms at KAIPTC’s Accommodation Block and made sure funds were set aside in the ensuing year’s budget, to rehabilitate the remaining 30 rooms.
Before KAIPTC, Maj Gen F Ofori (Rtd) held appointments such as Commanding Officer (CO) – 48 Engineer Regiment, Director – Engineer Services, Commander – Support Services Brigade Group, as well as General Officer Commanding – Northern Command, and is credited with leading a group of Officers and Soldiers for the implementation of the Dagbon Roadmap for Peace.
The winner of the Sword-of-Honour award in August 1985, has also bagged certificates from Command and Staff College – Jaji, Nigeria, Senior Command and Staff Course – Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), Comparative Command and Staff Course – United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Senior Strategic Leadership Programme – United Kingdom Defence Academy, German Army Engineer School, Munich, Germany, the United States Army Engineer School, Fort Leonard Wood, the South African National Defence College, and the UN Peacekeeping Centre, New Delhi, India.
His foreign operational deployments include CO, UNIFIL GHANBATT 67, Combat Engineer Operations Staff Officer UNIFIL HQ Operations, all in South Lebanon, CO MONUC GHANBATT 9, DR Congo, Military Observer with UN Iraq Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) and Chief J2, UN/AU Mission in Darfur, Sudan.
Rear Admiral Moses Kojo Beick-Baffour – Commandant, GAFCSC, who represented the Chief of the Defence Staff of GAF (who along with the Vice President of Ghana and the Service Chiefs of GAF, was at the 77th Remembrance Day Activities), urged the outgone Commandant to respond positively, whenever called upon to attend to issues concerning GAF, since it is his second family.
Maj Gen Richard Addo-Gyane, formerly Director-General, Plan, Research and Development, General Headquarters, now assumes the reins of power at KAIPTC.
Other dignitaries present at the event included the Chief, Defence Intelligence – Maj Gen Abraham Yeboah-Nsiah, Force Commander, Accra Initiative Multinational Taskforce – Maj Gen Robert Afram, the Chief Director, Defence Ministry – Mr Evans Dzikum, amongst others.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode