In November, Barnett Koven, START’s training director and senior researcher, traveled to the African Union’s Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana to participate in a workshop on the development of new curricula for counterterrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE) training.
The participants in this workshop created an outline of what the trainings will include, how each training block will be constructed, and what themes fall under each block. The different blocks included various topics, such as the terror-insurgency nexus, push/pull factors, human rights and legal frameworks.
The training will be available continent-wide, with the African Union and the Kofi Annan Centre facilitating its implementation. African Union peacekeepers, who are primarily military personnel, will benefit from this type of training.
“I think this workshop established a good foundation for a much larger, long-term initiative,” Koven said.
Koven was invited to be a part of this workshop after START hosted the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), a research center of excellence under the African Union, in October.
The Center’s Director, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, and his colleagues came to discuss START’s research portfolio and dissemination strategies, as well as areas for future collaboration between the two centers. ACSRT is tasked with providing support to African Union member states concerned with preventing and combating terrorism.
“It will be extremely insightful for START to foster our relationship with the African Union, and the African Union can benefit from some of the groundwork that START has already laid for practitioner education on counterterrorism and CVE,” Koven said.