World news story

UK-Ghana defence co-operation: Strategic leadership programme

On 8 December, the UK Defence Academy, in partnership with Cranfield University and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), completed delivery of the 2017 iteration of the UK’s strategic leadership programme in Accra.

Strategic Leadership Programme in Accra
British High Commissioner to Accra with participants of the course

The course, enabled by the UK’s Defence Adviser to Ghana, Lt Col Simon Westlake RM, and delivered by Dr Ifti Zaidi of Cranfield University and Lt Col Simon Gray MBE of the UK’s Defence Academy, enhances strategic leadership and management at the corporate/strategic level across defence and the wider security sector.

The course, which is in high demand globally, was hosted by KAIPTC for the 3rd year in succession and is now firmly established as a strong element of UK/Ghana defence co-operation.

During the week, the 36 course participants from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo and of course Ghana – including a number of Ghana’s Parliamentarians – represented a number of different areas in the political, defence and security sectors.    At the start of the week, the High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Iain Walker, hosted a reception to welcome participants to the course; this also provided opportunity to meet other members of the British High Commission staff and alumni of previous iterations of the course.

During the week, the participants considered the issues of leadership, strategy, change management and decision making – using a blended learning approach comprising lectures, discussions, case studies and exercises.

Summing up for the course, Brigadier General Michael Samura of Sierra Leone reflected on the very positive experiences of the week and the bond that had been established between the UK instructors and between all of the course participants themselves.

This sentiment was exemplified by the presentation of gifts made to the UK instructors on behalf of the programme by the Honourable Dr Zanator Rawlings MP, also a participant this year.

Lt Col Westlake, in his closing remarks, commented:

The ability to bring together a variety of experienced individuals from across West Africa, from a number of different organisations – people who can really engage with issues, who are able to provoke thinking and who are willing to stimulate debate – is a key strength of this programme.

He noted:

As we all face contemporary security challenges, it is important that we develop appropriate strategies and policies, with continued dialogue an important factor in our collective ability to do so. 

While closing this year’s course, Lt Col Westlake thanked the commandant and staff of the KAIPTC, also highlighting that he was extremely pleased the strategic leadership programme would return to Ghana in 2018.

Published 17 January 2018