African peace training chiefs meet in Cairo “On the Road to Nairobi for Partnerships in Training & Capacity Building in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding” (13-14/07/2016)

 In preparation for the first TICAD conference to be held in Africa in August, Directors of African peace training centers met and recommended a joint needs assessment with Japan and UN and called for more national ownership.

(Source: Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA))

(Source: Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA))

 The purpose of this workshop which was convened by the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA) was to provide a preface for the TICAD VI Conference to be held in Nairobi on 27-28 August 2016. The participants made a series of recommendations in relation to training and capacity building in peace and security.

 The group found it desirable for African training institutions to conduct a joint needs assessment together with the African Peace Trainers Association (APSTA), the Government of Japan and UN to determine the newly emerging requirements. The participants emphasized the need for capacity building on preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention as priority areas together with peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

 Triangular partnerships were found necessary to enable capabilities as the softer part of supporting peacekeeping overall capability. At the same time, they also found the need for a greater collaboration among African training institutions themselves, as competition is overshadowing collaboration, eventually resulting in the duplication of efforts.

 African directors stressed the importance of enhancing local ownership, noting that the African countries and people are best positioned to know the real needs on the ground, and donors should not be dictating their own agendas. Recognizing the need to find and focus African solutions for African problems, the participants considered it desirable to pay attention to the specific findings and recommendations of the recent UN strategic reviews. It is essential to expand the attention to peacebuilding in addition to peacekeeping.

 The participants found the need to develop policies, guidelines, standards as well as training materials together with the regional economic communities (RECS) in order to identify the specific skills requires. There was also a need to ensure that the RECS are engaged at the AU level and that the latter continuously brief RECS. They also found it necessary to focus on rostering systems in order to ensure the conduct of mission -specific trainings.

 They hoped Japan will continue its support for African training centers for an extended duration of 4-5 years. But, to reduce the dependency on external assistance, they considered it essential for more local ownership and sustainability. African member states need to increase their contribution to the African Union in terms of financial support rather than constantly expecting donor funding.

 From Japan, Ambassador Takehiro Sagawa participated in the opening session. Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, also participated along with Lieutenant Colonel Norihisa Urakami, Defense attaches Tatsuya Mita and Simizu.