7th Generic Course on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Africa

Accra

Violent extremism has continued to gain ground across many parts of Africa. Several initiatives, approaches, and preventative measures continue to be developed by various stakeholders with the aim of building capacity to effectively contribute to the prevention and countering of violent extremism.

In line with the capacity building efforts and as part of their Joint Framework Programme for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Africa, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT/CAERT) and the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), with the financial support of German Government through its implementing agency=- GIZ, organized the 7th Generic Course on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) from the 4th to 8th of April 2022. This is part of the response to the growing threats of violent extremism across many parts of the African Continent.

African Countries have designed and implemented various generic as well as tailored responses to violent extremism. This notwithstanding, the threats have persisted and mutated. The Generic PCVE course, which is the 7th of its kind, is aimed at providing the participating Member States’ key security and non-security stakeholders in the prevention and countering of violent extremism with a framework to promote ownership of the preventative approach which puts the Whole-of-Society and Whole-of-Government concepts at the centre of PCVE policy formulation and implementation.

The Course was attended by Representatives of some selected Africa States, who work in the areas of defence, security, intelligence services and justice institutions and are involved in the design and implementation of responses to violent extremism. Participating States included Angola, Comoros, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Moreover, PCVE Experts drawn from the ACSRT/CAERT, KAIPTC, and other Institutions from Africa also participated in and supported the course through module facilitation.

During the opening session, Col. Paul TANYE-KULONO (Director Training, KAIPTC)- representing the Commandant of KAIPTC – officially launched the course. He welcomed the participants to the KAIPTC, Accra, and Ghana and expressed the KAIPTC’s appreciation to the AU, through the ACSRT, as well as the German Government through its implementing agency GIZ for the continuous financial support and cooperation that KAIPTC continue to enjoy. Col Tanye-Kulono encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity the course presents, to deepen their reflection on the necessary PCVE tools and techniques for the benefits of their countries.

Col. Christian Emmanuel MOUAYA POUYI, Acting Head of Training and Equipment Unit, ACSRT gave opening remarks on behalf of the African Union Commission (AUC). He, in the process, highlighted the progress made by the AUC, through its counter terrorism technical body – ACSRT, on efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism in Africa. He also reiterated the ACSRT’s capacity building mandate that entails designing, developing, and conducting training programmes aimed at supporting the efforts of the AU Member States. Col MOUAYA POUYI, in his remarks, also expressed ACSRT’s appreciation to the KAIPTC and the GIZ for ensuring the course is successfully organised.

Mr. Hannes LAMBRECHT, Head of GIZ Project Support to KAIPTC- who represented the German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Daniel Krull – underscored the German Government’s resolve to contribute to enhancing the PCVE capacities of African Countries with the hope of achieving global peace and stability. He indicated that Violent Extremism is not limited to any country or region and that VE groups violate human and people’s rights, thereby undermining the efforts to achieving international peace, security, safety, stability, and development. He reemphasized the need for a paradigm shift to solve the growing complex security challenges that confront many countries in Africa particularly in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, South-East Africa, and the Horn of Africa. While acknowledging and commending the KAIPTC and the ACSRT for the continuous PCVE capacity building, Mr. Lambrecht reiterated the German Government’s commitment to continue their support towards achieving long lasting peace and resilience in Africa.
At the end of the course, participants gained a deeper common knowledge of PCVE issues, as well as other related types of violence, the drivers, the pull and push factors, and the root causes in their context contributing to the occurrence. They were exposed to dialogue, whole-of-society approach, regional and international legal frameworks, cybersecurity, transnational organised crime (TOC), counter insurgency operation, program/project design and monitoring and evaluation processes, roles of various stakeholders in PCVE, detection and management of explosive devices, and the human security approach as essential tools in the effective prevention and countering of violent extremism.