Kigali 1 November 2016
Military institutions drawing from 28 African countries met in Kigali, Rwanda, in a 2 days’ workshop aimed at strengthening professional military education especially in areas of faculty and curricula development. The workshop was organized in the framework of the Africa Military Education Program (AMEP), under the auspices of the US Africa Center for Strategic Studies. AMEP is designed to bolster the performance of selected African Professional Military Education (PME) institutions through strategic investments in human and institutional capacity.
Maj Gen JB Kazura, the Commandant of RDF Command and Staff College, on behalf of the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, officially opened the 2016 AMEP workshop on 31 October 2016 at Radisson Blue Hotel, Kigali.
In his opening remarks, Maj Gen Kazura noted “this workshop is very meaningful, because it will provide all the participants not only essential knowledge about faculty development and curricula improvement, but also it is a great opportunity to share experiences in security issues for the benefit of our nations’ stability and development”.
He underlined that harmonization and standardization of faculty development and curricula improvement would be beneficial to African Military Institutions, especially in terms of interoperability, much needed in various joint peace operations. He observed “once we will have officers able to communicate effectively, train and operate together, we will have achieved a high level of interoperability and readiness, hence we will have made a big step towards security and stability of our different nations”.
Maj Gen Kazura further reiterated RDF’s commitment to Africa Military Education Program, noting that the workshop was an ideal forum to boost the partnership between the US and African countries with a view to promote peace, stability and security across the African continent through Professional Military Education.
Matthew Roth, Deputy Chief of Mission U.S Embassy in Rwanda who graced the opening ceremony along with Gen Kazura, said that Africa Military Education Program was vital in improving military capabilities in partnership between US and African countries. The US diplomat also said that the workshop would provide an opportunity to assess the efficiency of current activities and how to move forward.
On behalf of the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, AMEP workshop was officially closed by the Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli along with the US Ambassador to Rwanda, HE Erica J. Barks-Ruggles on 1 Nov 2016.
In his closing remarks, Gen Musemakweli noted that the workshop was an excellent opportunity for participants to share experiences and lessons learnt that will enhance respective military capacity building across African Continent. “We should remain committed to sharing knowledge and training innovations that could enable African Militaries to effectively deal with contemporary security challenges”, he underlined.
H.E Erica J. Barks-Ruggles emphasised that Africa Military Education Program was important in improving military professionalisation for African countries to defend themselves against current and future security threats. She urged participants to the workshop to implement the lessons learnt once back home and to remain committed to the AMEP, arguing that the program helps in reinforcing military partnership between the US and Africa for the benefit of the citizens.
Countries represented in the 2016 Kigali AMEP workshop were Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, Benin, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Comoros, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Togo, and the USA.