15 August 2012. The President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), HE John Dramani Mahama, has called on GAF to continue their hard work to position Ghana and GAF at the forefront in the fight against poverty, deprivation, underdevelopment and the peaceful resolution of conflicts globally.
He said, “we fully appreciate the role that our Armed Forces is playing in keeping internal and international peace. Your professionalism in peacekeeping missions has made Ghana a household name throughout the world and we should jealously guard and defend this enviable status”.
The President was speaking at his first official engagement outside the Castle after the funeral rites of the late President Prof JEA Mills, as the Guest of Honour at the graduation ceremony for students of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) Course 33, on Wednesday 15 August 2012, at the college auditorium.
He noted that Government was fully appreciative of the important contribution of GAF to the socio-economic development of the country, and was committed to making GAF more effective and efficient through the acquisition of modern equipment.
The President congratulated the graduands who had been awarded ‘psc’ (passed staff course) and Post Graduate Diploma in Defence and Conflicts Studies, Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy, and Governance and Leadership.
“I must emphasise that the knowledge gained should equip you to deal with contemporary challenges of our time. You should be objective and not antagonistic in applying the knowledge that you have acquired,” he told the students.
The C-in-C asked the graduands to be guided by what they had learnt and remember the country was still systematically advancing in its political development and the forthcoming elections would be crucial to its stability, stressing, “you will be required to play your roles professionally and effectively in all your assignments.”
He called on graduands from sister countries to continuously remember that the training they had received was not an end in itself, but that their various countries would demand returns from the confidence reposed in them by sending them to Ghana to train.
President Mahama asked them to let the training received be another launch-pad for a better understanding among sister African countries to provide the necessary impetus for regional and sub-regional integration.
The Commandant of the College, Maj Gen Kwesi Yankson, in his address revealed that an initial funding of GH¢350.000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis) has been allocated by GETFund to start the construction of a 50 unit self-contained accommodation facility to support the academic faculty.
This project he noted was a promise by President Mahama, then Vice President at the commissioning of the College’s auditorium on 21 March 2012.
He seised the occasion to congratulate the HE John Dramani Mahama for his elevation to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of GAF and also thanked him for accepting to honour their invitation.
Awards were given to students who had distinguished themselves throughout their 11 months of study. Maj Emmanuel Kojo Appiah took the Honour Graduate Award as the overall best student for the Course.
The 61 graduands were made up of 40 Ghanaians (37 military, two police officers and one fire officer) and 21 allied students from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.