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The Ghana Armed Forces has proudly served in peacekeeping operations globally since its participation in the United Nations Operation in the Congo in the early 1960s. Through many UN and regional deployments in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, to ongoing UN peace missions in Liberia, La Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lebanon, thousands of men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces and Ghana Police Service have proudly served as United Nations and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeepers.
To build and share Ghana's five decades of experience and competence in peace support operations, the Ministry of Defence, in May 1998, approved plans for the establishment of an International Peacekeeping Training Centre. The Centre was envisaged to address not only Ghana's needs for training men and women to meet the changing demands of complex and multidimensional peacekeeping activities, but also to help meet the peacekeeping training requirements of the West African subregion and indeed, the continent. On August 02, 2000, UN Secretary-General H.E. Kofi Annan 'cut the sod' for work to start on the building of the KAIPTC at its present location in Teshie, Accra. After the inauguration of the Centre, Mr. Kofi Annan presented personal mementos to the Centre including a number of plaques he had received from troop-contributing countries during his tenure as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, which are today proudly displayed at the KAIPTC. H.E. Kofi Annan expressed the following during the commissioning of the centre:
“The United Nations is deeply grateful to the Government of Ghana, Armed Forces and Police for their four-decade long commitment to UN peacekeeping operations around the world. The record of service and achievement has laid the foundation for the commission of the International Peacekeeping Training Centre that we mark today. The Ghana Armed Forces' remarkable knowledge base, expertise and experience must be placed at the disposal of as many national armed forces, sub-regionally and continent-wide, as possible. Africa needs well-trained and well-equipped peacekeepers to meet the challenge of the crises facing our continent. Other Governments are increasingly reluctant to solve our problems for us. Instead they have sought to explore ways to help Africans to improve their peacekeeping capacity. I believe this Centre can play an important role in facilitating such assistance. I trust that representatives of donor countries here present will seize this opportunity to provide the necessary support, so that Ghana's vast experience in peacekeeping is used to the benefit of Africa and ultimately to the cause of world peace.”
A number of Development Partners responded very positively and generously to the Secretary-General's call and in 2002, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany granted an initial 1.8 million Euros towards the cost of building the Centre and this was followed by other financial, human and material resource contributions from Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the USA. The first phase of construction of the KAIPTC, comprising classrooms, administrative offices, an auditorium and a Command and Staff simulation training centre, were completed in the last week of September 2003. During September and October 2003, staff began to occupy the facilities in preparation for the KAIPTC's first course in November 2003.
The Centre was officially co-opened on January 24, 2004 by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, John A. Kufuor, and His Excellency the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroder. The second phase of the building project at the centre, which was funded by the UK, Italy and the Dutch governments, was completed in 2006. These facilities were inaugurated by Ghana's Minister for Defence, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, and the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mr. Adam Ingram, on September 22, 2005.
A few years into its operations, the KAIPTC has carved a niche as a world class research and training facility for Africa - a regional Centre of Excellence that embraces all aspects of research and training for enhanced performance in integrated peace support operations. The centre's activities draw participants from the full spectrum of the peacekeeping community, the security sector and civil, diplomatic and nongovernmental agencies. Since the first peacekeeping training course was organized in 2003, the Centre has run over 207 training courses for more than 8547 individuals from over 88 countries and major organizations in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa as at 31st December, 2011. Core courses in peacekeeping activities are augmented by other specialist and train-the-trainer courses, seminars, conferences and workshops, all of which are designed to reflect regional needs and stakeholder requirements. The KAIPTC also hosts a Field Training Team which conducts pre-deployment training courses for units of Ghana Armed Forces, military observers and other staff officers designated for UN/AU Missions. This team trains an average of over 3,800 individuals every year at the Bundase Training Camp. In addition to the research and training programmes, the KAIPTC is now an accredited tertiary institution and runs Post graduate programmes in Conflict, Peace and Security and Gender, Peace and Security programme.