Support for the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (SADC RPTC)

Project description

Title: Support for the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (SADC RPTC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Southern African Development Community (SADC): Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania
Lead executing agency: Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Directorate for Politics, Defence and State Security Cooperation
Overall term: 2011 to 2013

Context

As one of Africa’s five regional organisations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been asked by the African Union to contribute to the formation of a collective African military taskforce. For the development of the SADC contingent, the SADC Secretariat is supported by the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC). The Centre is located in Harare, Zimbabwe, and is a SADC institution subordinate to the organisation’s Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana. It is a training centre where civilian, police and military personnel are prepared for potential deployment in peacekeeping missions.

Objective

The SADC RPTC has established itself as a centre of excellence for the southern African region and trains future African peacekeepers according to international standards, in readiness for their deployment in peacekeeping missions.

Approach

The project is supporting the SADC RPTC, primarily by providing advice on the design and implementation of training courses for police officers, and multidimensional courses in which civilians, police and soldiers work together to prepare for deployment in peacekeeping missions. The participants become familiar with subjects such as the principles of rule of law and international humanitarian law, gender issues, preventive health care and the protection of civilians in crisis areas. By diversifying the course target group (with participants of both sexes from different member states and from non-governmental organisations) and by running the multidimensional courses, the project is also promoting exchanges of experience between representatives of the SADC member states as well as the formation of regional sector networks.

At the same time, the project is also providing courses and management training to reinforce the competences of experts employed at the Centre itself. It promotes exchanges with ongoing peacekeeping missions, other national and regional training centres and with the African Union to facilitate regional and pan-African learning processes.

Furthermore, measures to organise and finance the renovation and equipping of 30 rooms within the centre are under way, so that in future participants can find accommodation on-site.

Results achieved so far

Regular exchanges with other national and regional training centres and a visit by the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire and to the German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in particular have helped raise the quality of the courses provided at the centre to meet international standards. A number of new and specialised pilot courses have been used to develop learning matter which, in its particular form, is unique on the African continent.

All the courses also address important cross-sectoral topics such as gender and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. More than 150 participants from all the 14 SADC member states received training in 2011. Of these, around half were civilian personnel and more than a third were women. With 250 participants in 2012, it is now already possible to say the Centre is running at full capacity.