The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, has called on civil society organisations (CSOs), religious and faith-based organizations, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders to rally behind efforts to promote peace and prevent violent extremism in West Africa.
She made the call at the opening of a training of trainers workshop on a course seeking to strengthen response mechanisms to violent extremism and terrorism in coastal states in West Africa. The course is being run by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in partnership with UNDP and with funding from the Government of Japan.
Ms. Lusigi called on stakeholders to work together to identify early warning signs and counter the threats of extremists.
“Each of us can make an important contribution to sustaining peace. We must sow the seeds of tolerance and cohesion in our communities. We must remember that investment in prevention is far more cost-effective than allocating resources to deal with the consequences of instability and violence”, Ms. Lusigi stated.
In his remarks, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Ghana, Mr. OYAMA Hiromoto, highlighted the importance of peace and security to economic development and prosperity. He pledged the government of Japan’s continuous support to ensure the stability of West Africa and Africa as a whole.
“I hope to further strengthen our partnership to build sustainable peace through supporting Africa’s own efforts in areas such as counterterrorism and anti-piracy efforts, reinforcing institutional building and strengthening governance’’, Mr. OYAMA noted.
On his part, the Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Commodore George Kweku Arko-Dadzie, described the West African sub-region as a hotbed of diverse human security threats and called on all stakeholders to play an active role in maintaining peace and security.
“Nobody can stop the on-going destruction of our existence and that of future generations except ourselves”, Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie stated.
The course falls under a project on “Strengthening Response Capacities of State and Civil Society Actors in Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Coastal States in West Africa”. This is being implemented in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Ghana, and by KAIPTC and UNDP with support from the government of Japan. The one-year project, which will end in March 2022, is combining research, peer-learning, and capacity development to inform policy and practice to prevent and counter extremism and terrorism in West Africa.