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Ambassadors for Peace

UPF College Ambassadors for Peace Participate in West African Educators Conference

2017-11-09-UPF College Ambassadors for Peace Participate in West African Educators

Accra, Ghana—About 35 College Ambassadors for Peace from Nigeria participated in the West African Educators International Conference, held at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy at the University of Ghana in Accra from November 8 to 9, 2017. Most of the Ambassadors for Peace are officers or members of the National Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) and represent UPF at different colleges of education in Nigeria where UPF is establishing peace clubs with the approval of the country’s National Commission for Colleges of Education.

UPF-Nigeria served as a consultant for the conference, which was hosted by the Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC), located in Ho, Ghana, and facilitated by the African Center for Peace Building, a Ghana-based NGO. The theme of the two-day event was “The Role of Educators in Addressing Emerging Challenges in West Africa.”

The opening session included a welcome address by the president of EPUC, Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, as well as remarks by the national president of WICE, Dr. Zipporah Duguryil, and the secretary general of UPF-Ghana, Dr. Helen Osei. The speakers emphasized the need for West African educators to come together to address challenges facing the region.

In his keynote remarks, Rev. Prof. Edwin N. Korley, deputy vice chancellor of the Pan African Christian Theological University and Ghana’s representative in the UPF Global Peace Council, identified three emerging challenges in West Africa: religious relationships, regional integration and resource management, and stressed the importance of educational initiatives in addressing these challenges.

At the closing session of the first day of the conference, Dr. Fayose and EPUC’s registrar, Mr. Obed Adom, were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace.

On November 9, the second day of the conference, a special workshop on “The Need for Character Education in West Africa” with Dr. Osei as the main presenter, was held. In her presentation, she highlighted the importance of character education in solving the many challenges facing and urged the participants to support the proposal to introduce character education into educational institutions in West Africa. Afterwards Dr. Duguryil gave a presentation that pointed to the decline of moral values as the basis for the emerging challenges in the region.

More than 30 College Ambassadors for Peace presented papers on different topics at the conference in four main groups. The first group’s presentations focused on issues related to the theme of the conference, while the second group’s presentations focused on cultural, religious, language and policy issues facing West Africa. Some of the issues that were identified were interreligious relations, colonial language influence and cultural differences. The third group’s presentations were focused on family issues, ethnic and tribal challenges, institutional problems and other social challenges, including human rights abuses, in West Africa. The presenters called on educators to support the strengthening of marriages and families as well as for the establishment of West Africa educational institutions and a West Africa Peace Academy that can promote peace education in the region. The fourth group’s presentations focused on economic issues, such as unemployment, skills acquisition and technology utilization, as well as corruption and environmental degradation.

In the closing session, UPF-Nigeria secretary general, Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, thanked the organizers and the College Ambassadors for Peace for their commitment to addressing the challenges facing West Africa from an educational perspective. He also re-emphasized the need for educators to address the religious, resource and other challenges facing the region and encouraged West African educators to meet regularly to tackle these issues as well as the growing threat of corruption, terrorism and other forms of violence; liaise with ECOWAS; promote character education; and support citizenship connection within West Africa.

Conference participants spent the third day visiting historic places and educational institutions in Accra before departing. The conference opened new opportunities for UPF to work together with educators and educational institutions in Ghana.

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