Mr Ishmael Yamson, a Business Executive, has tasked the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to develop programmes that would potently address the threats ‘the freedom virus’ poses to the stability of government and society.
He said prevailing liberal digital environment had made it difficult for governments to isolate those using the internet for the good of society from those with diabolic intentions.
There should also be programmes that have direct benefits for industry and the corporate world.
Mr Yamson was addressing the 2018 Congregation of the KAIPTC, in Accra, at which 97 students graduated.
It comprised the Fourth Batch of the Executive Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security (EMCPS); the Seventh Batch of its Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Security (MCPS) and Sixth Batch of its Master of Arts in Gender, Peace and Security (MGPS).
The Former Board Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited stated, while applauding both the educators and the graduating students, declared: “I want to raise some issues, which have been of great concern to me in the past and still are to me and many of my colleagues in the corporate world.
“Here lies my anxiety about the relevance and appropriateness of the content and scope of our educational systems. While technology has made teaching and learning easier, it has also unfolded itself in the power of constructive destruction, confusion, misinformation, mischief, chaos, despondency, despair, anxiety, frustration, violence and sometimes war.”
“The speed at which information is shared and spread today is stunning and its security implications are enormous for the state, for governments, for security agencies, for businesses and for our clients.
“The spread of what is now known as the ‘freedom virus’ made it harder for governments and security institutions to control and isolate people who wished to undermine the stability of communities, countries and sometimes whole regions.”
He explained that the democratisation power of the internet and social media was a powerful tool for good but also for evil, saying the proliferation of these tools had come with political and security vulnerabilities.
At the same time, he said, the advances in globalisation were creating social tensions between countries and within countries, as the impact of globalisation was felt around the globe.
These, he said, were being witnessed in some countries in Europe; a situation similar to the force, which led to the Arab Spring uprising.
Air Vice Marshall Griffith S. Evans, KAIPTC Commandant, said this December marked the end of the Centre’s four-year strategic plan, which began in 2014.
He said the Centre was beginning the implementation of its new five-year strategic plan from January 2019 to December 2023.
He said the new strategic plan was premised on a new business model that ultimately aimed at ensuring the institutional and financial sustainability of the centre.
“Our new vision is to become the leading and preferred international centre for training, education, and research that are focused on ensuring a peaceful and secure Africa,” he said.
“Our mission is to provide globally recognised capacity for all actors on African peace and security through training, education, research, and policy dialogues to foster peace and stability in Africa.”
He said the Centre’s six strategic objectives for the next five years were to enhance the capacity of ECOWAS, Africa Union (AU), and their relevant structures to perform their mandates in ensuring peace and security in Africa and to ensure financial sustainability of the Centre.
Others were to build the African capacity to fully implement the AU protocol to the African Charter on the rights of women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1325 and follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security in the context of Africa.
The Commandant said the new strategic plan would also ensure the sustainability of the Centre’s post-graduate academic programmes and other knowledge generation initiatives in peace and security.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.