Bawumia challenges GAFCSC Graduates to Help Fight Piracy, Terrorism in Africa
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged graduates of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) to apply the knowledge and expertise acquired to help fight the growing threats of piracy and terrorism in Africa.
In addition, the vice president has urged them to strengthen the bonds formed with their fellow officers and students from different countries during their time in GAFCSC to complement the activities of policymakers to help achieve required developmental goals on the continent.
Dr Bawumia, the Chairman of Ghana’s Armed Forces Council, made the call at the joint graduation ceremony of Senior Command and Staff Course 42 and Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Defence and International Politics in Accra on Friday, August 20.
He expressed worry about the growing threats to global peace and stability. He challenged the graduates to work together, drawing on their local and varied experiences, to help fight the menace.
“As you are already aware, terrorism and piracy have become major security threats in Africa, and it will require collaboration at all levels and among our respective countries to completely eradicate it,” he said.
“This course has given you an excellent platform to share knowledge and experience in the fight against these emerging and pervasive threats. We at the strategic policy level will do all we can, but you are the professionals with the requisite skills and knowledge. I, therefore, charge you to work together with a common public purpose as comrades confronting a common enemy,” he added.
Dr Bawumia congratulated the graduates on their successful completion of the “challenging yet extremely rich course” despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19 and urged them to be ambassadors of their respective countries.
The 2021 cohort of graduates of GAFCSC were drawn from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Togo.
Eighty-One officers from the nine African countries received certificates signifying their successful completion of Senior Division Course 42.
Forty-six others, including a foreign diplomat, were awarded the Master of Science in Defence and International Politics degree.
Launch of GAFCSC academic journal
The Vice President also launched the maiden GAFCSC Academic Journal, the first since establishing the institution almost six decades ago.
The journal, the first in the West Africa sub-region and the second on the continent, is “a clear sign that the college is growing in intellectual capacity,” Dr Bawumia stated.
He touched on the history of the college and said since its inception in 1963, the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College has produced professionals of diverse nationality, career and linguistic backgrounds.
These professionals have continued to significantly influence development on the continent and beyond through existing knowledge and scholarships in the fields of defence and security and public service practices.
Unfortunately, these contributions are hardly traceable because there is a lack of a dedicated channel of academic communication, the vice president recounted.
“It is for this reason that I am excited to launch the first-ever academic journal of this Centre of Excellence, the first in the sub-region and only next to the Scientia Militaria- South African Journal of Military Studies by the South African Military Academy, which is part of the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University,” he said.
Dr Bawumia commended the leadership of the Military High Command, the Staff College Control Board, led by the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, and the College Management Team for the measures kept in place to keep students and staff safe from contracting coronavirus.
He said it is the college’s preventive and pragmatic measures and protocols as part of the guidelines rolled out by the government, which have kept both students and staff safe from COVID-19.
“The achievement is a clear indication that with discipline, common purpose and determination, we can overcome the dangerous effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Report on GAFCSC
Reporting on the state of the College, the Commandant of GAFCSC, Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, announced plans to introduce a Doctor of Philosophy programme in Defence and International Politics and a Masters programme in Security Studies, while working towards the granting of a charter to make the college autonomous by 2026.