WAPI Opens In AccraThe 14th session of the West Africa Peacebuilding Institute, WAPI opened on Monday August 24th 2015 in Accra, Ghana with over 50 participants from West Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa in attendance. The WAPI 14th Session under the theme: ‘Enabling Peacebuilding Practice,’ will run from August 24th to September 4th, 2015 and also included participants from regional and sub regional organisations such as the ECOWAS Commission and the African Union (AU). WAPI is one of the flagship programs of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP and is run in partnership with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).In his welcome address, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General O.B. Akwa underscored the relevance of the program, which has been structured to adequately respond to the current and future challenges of peacebuilding in Africa. Major Akwa adjudged that over the years, interest in WAPI has grown substantially, with evidence in the increasing number of participants in each session. He added that the consistency and quality of training received by participants only reiterate the astuteness, dedication and commitment of the faculty members of WAPI. In commending the strategic partnership with WANEP, Major Akwa informed the gathering that the partnership was renewed in 2014 for another five years with a key element as the development of courses and trainings that respond effectively to the changing face of conflict in our West Africa region.The Executive Director of WANEP, Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze in declaring the session open, re-affirmed the strategic partnership between WANEP and KAIPTC saying, “As governments and intergovernmental organizations increasingly look in the direction of non- state actors and CSOs for support and complementarity in responding to the myriad of peace and security challenges confronting our region, WANEP and KAIPTC provide the space for cross fertilization of ideas across the globe through WAPI”. WAPI, he added, provides an interactive forum for the participants to share, explore and discuss concepts and issues related to peace and security including program designs and implementation processes. The courses, he reiterated, provides the participants with rich insights into the process of developing effective engagement and intervention strategies, policies and conflict sensitive framework within a constantly changing and charged environment. Mr. Eze appreciated the Governments of Austria, Demark, Sweden and United States for providing the financial resources to support WAPI, which continues to redefine the landscape of peace and security especially in Africa’s collective quest for a homegrown solution to the diverse human security challenges.
WAPI is designed to provide specialized, intensive, and cultural sensitive training in conflict transformation and peacebuilding to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and relevant actors from West Africa and beyond through its wide range of courses. The faculty is composed of peacebuilding experts with diverse skills in conflict prevention, early warning, dialogue and mediation among others. The 14th Session covers topics such as; Conflict Analysis in Early Warning; Peacebuilding Program Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation; Dialogue and Mediation; Human Security Issues in Natural Resource Governance. In the past 13 years, WAPI has trained over 500 practitioners and provided the space and platform for the actualization of WANEP’s vision for the prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa.