The West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI) is implemented by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), the National Disaster Management Organisation of Ghana (NADMO) and spearheaded by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Launched in July 2015, the main objective of WADPI has been to utilize lessons learned from the recent Ebola epidemic to strengthen national capacities among 17 West African Partner Nations (PNs) and to implement an all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness and response management to ensure continued regional collaboration, communication and coordination between Member States in disaster preparedness and response.

While the ongoing threat of Ebola Virus Disease remains a global challenge, the humanitarian impact of the scourge on the West African region is enormous.  The ECOWAS Plan of Action on Ebola calls for the strengthening of the regional coordination mechanism between ECOWAS, the African Union, partner nations as well as international partners.

Training efforts focuses on building the capacity of officials responsible for disaster preparedness and management regarding the lessons learned from the current Ebola crisis and to establish a foundation for a national-level, systems-based approach to preparedness.

WADPI, has successfully trained 1,368 participants from 14 West African Countries, primarily ECOWAS Member States and one Central African country (Ghana, Benin, Togo, Senegal, Burkina Faso, la Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Mali, The Gambia Cameroon, Guinea and Sierra Leone). Select officials from the ECOWAS Commission were also beneficiaries of the WADPI trainings.

The number of countries and participants trained till date fits into WADPI’s ultimate goal of building a pool of trained subject matter experts on the continent of Africa as a way to enhance regional collaboration in disaster management and response.  It is to the continent’s advantage that at the end of the day, nations are better prepared to share a common knowledge or skillsets regarding disaster preparedness and management.  Strengthening African nations’ capacity and capabilities in disaster preparedness will ultimately contribute to global health stability and security.