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The African Peace Support Trainers’ Association (APSTA) and POTI Form New Partnership

Published: 10-16-12

MOU signing on 18 September l-r: Dr. Harvey Langhotz (Executive Director of POTI), Brigadier General Chellah (President of APSTA) and Brigadier General Chirwa (Ret.)(Executive Secretary APSTA)

On 18 September 2012 while in Helsinki, Finland participating in the annual conference of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC), Brigadier General Christopher Chellah, President of the African Peace Support Trainers’ Association and Dr. Harvey Langholtz, Executive Director Peace Operations Training Institute signed a memorandum of understanding that will enhance and strengthen peacekeeping training for African military personnel.

The African Peace Support Trainers’ Association (APSTA) was established in 2002 by leading African training and research institutions as the African Chapter of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC). APSTA serves as a framework for improving the capacity of peacekeeping training institutions through facilitating the exchange of best practices and capacity development support and for enhancing the impact of peacekeeping initiatives by the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities/ Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs). Through dialogue and joint research, APSTA seeks to deepen the debate on peacekeeping capacity development, and on issues pertaining to peacekeeping in Africa including protection of civilians and the implementation of the responsibility to protect.

The Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI) is an independent not-for-profit organization located in the United States. POTI provides globally accessible and affordable distance-learning courses on peace support, humanitarian relief, and security operations. POTI is committed to bringing essential, practical knowledge to military personnel, police, and civilians working toward peace worldwide through POTI’s curriculum of  online, self-paced, on-demand e-learning courses.  All African military personnel, police and gendarmerie are offered full scholarships to study the POTI curriculum through the E-Learning for African Peacekeepers (ELAP) programme which is funded by generous grants from Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The ELAP programme has awarded over 400,000 scholarships to students throughout Africa since it began in 2005.

The newly signed MoU between APSTA and POTI provides a framework for cooperation in the fields of education, training and promoting capacity development for African peacekeepers. The priority focus of this cooperation will be on best practices in training in the fields related to peace support operations (PSO), humanitarian relief, and security operations. APSTA and POTI will engage in an exchange of training material and combine the classroom training offered by APSTA with the online training offered by POTI to strengthen the capacity of African peacekeepers to deal with the broad range of issues faced in the field related to peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and security operations.