The Women Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) – a unit of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has commenced a 5-day Women in Peace and Security Monitoring Course for partner organizations, networks and Civil Society Organizations that focus on Women, Peace and Security from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

The workshop, which takes place from Monday 21 to Friday 25 November, 2022 at the Valencia Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark under the project: “Promoting Peace and Security in Africa: Danish Support to KAIPTC 2021-2022”.

The project is aimed at enhancing the capacity of operational-level leaders working in the area of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) within West Africa, to provide leadership and mentorship skills with the purpose of promoting the implementation of the WPS Agenda in Africa.

The workshop program has objectives; to provide participants with training in leadership, to enhance their capacity to lead in the promotion of WPS; equip participants with requisite knowledge and skillset which will enable them to effectively provide leadership monitoring for WPS; and establish a network of leaders who will serve as catalyst for increasing leadership in the peace and security sector.

The target participants for the training program are operational-level personnel working on WPS as well as those working on issues within the Peace, Security in the Peace Security Gender and Political Affairs domain, civil society and grassroots organizations.

The WPS Leadership and Mentoring Course forms part of KAIPTC’s efforts at providing targeted training for leaders working in Africa’s peace and security environment, and is an offshoot of the year-long Inspiring Africa Women Leaders in Peace and Security Programme developed by WPSI in 2019, with this particular training session providing a shorter training path that offers participants a unique opportunity to enhance their skills in leadership and mentoring.

Some of the topics at the Course include Personal Development Branding, Value Assessment, Communication to Influence, Strategies for Influence, Models of Power, Mentoring Process, Setting & Achieving Goals, Emotional Intelligence, Work-Life Balance, Understanding Mentoring, Mentoring Process, African Women’s Leadership, Networking, Practicing the Mentoring, Leadership (Leading self & others), Power of Influencing and Basics of Coaching.

In recent years, there has been a call to go beyond the numbers in promoting female participation in peace processes and rather, create opportunities that ensure meaningful participation of women.

In West Africa, the sources of threats include maritime insecurity and piracy, farmer-herder conflicts, transnational organized crime, continuous trafficking of narcotics, and the steady increase in violent extremism – all these are with the gendered-dimension where women and girls are often the most affected.

The Government of Denmark has committed financial and technical support to promote the peace, stability and development of the region and beyond, under the Danish development and humanitarian strategy “The World 2030”, which was adopted in 2017 and has four strategic objectives – security and development, migration and development, inclusive sustainable growth and freedom and development.

Under the security and development pillar, KAIPTC, which is regionally and continentally reputed as a Centre of Excellence with expertise in training and research, has embarked on a two-year project (2021–2022) with the Government of Denmark dubbed ‘Promoting peace and security in West Africa’ project in three thematic areas; Women, peace and security, Conflict prevention and Responsibility to Protect.

Broadly, the funding support in the area of WPS will support research into conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in localized communities in West Africa policy dialogues and capacity building for community actors in CRSV.

The keynote address at the opening of the Course was delivered by KAIPTC’s Deputy Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research – Dr Emma Birikorang, with resource persons for the workshop including Joana Osei-Tutu – Head, WPSI, and Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful – Senior Researcher, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research.

By Kofi Ampeah-Woode

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