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General News
Experts meet on peace building in Africa 1/30/2007
Accra, Jan. 29, GNA - Experts on peace building and good governance from 16 African countries are meeting in Accra to build capacity of African civilian personnel within the emerging challenges of peacekeeping operations on the Continent.

The training aims at increasing increase the readiness and professionalism of civilian personnel that participate in peacekeeping and other missions and enhance their capacity to respond effectively to the complex challenges of post-conflict reconstruction.

Opening the 19-day training, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, noted that the core task of all current peace operations was the rebuilding of effective public institutions within a democratic and functioning society. He said a strong connection existed between democratic practices and the achievement of true peace and security in any new and stable political order.

"Where good governance flourishes, violence is curtailed. This is because the practice of the tenets of good governance such as its participatory nature, consensus-approach to decision-making, accountability of political actions...leave very little room for tensions that could lead to violent conflict or that can be re-ignited," Mr Osei-Adjei said.

He said Africa needed the skills, commitment and dedication to help to establish mechanisms and arrangements for sustainable peace building and enduring stability on the Continent.

"We need to develop the most appropriate doctrine and strategy for multidimensional peace operations that thoroughly integrate the security dimension with associated economic and political development requirements," he said.

Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said the return to constitutional democracy was not necessarily a recipe for peace since it had only succeeded to submerge dictatorships. He said civil society coalitions, therefore, had to continue the agitation for transparency in governance and the electoral process. Prof. Yankah said civil society initiatives were particularly meaningful on the assumption that they were the greatest victims in times of strife and crisis and, therefore, the onus laid on them to spearhead the efforts in ensuring sustainable peace. Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said Africa should build a cadre of personnel over the coming years whose watchword should be; "if you want peace, you must prepare for peace".

He said Africa needed peace because it had gotten more than its fair share of wars and conflicts throughout its colonial and post colonial history.

"Africa needs to develop its human capacity and improve the quality of life of its people; war and civil conflicts do not bring these," he said.

The Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA) in-collaboration with the International Training Programme for Conflict Management of Italy is organizing the training under the theme: "Building Peace in Africa."Source:
GNA


 
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