What: Applications for Gender Mainstreaming Course for African Union Peace Operations are open.
Date: 23-27 August 2021
Where: The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana.
Who: Members of the ASC Roster are invited to apply for the Course. This course is open for roster members only.
Application process: ASC Roster members interested in this training are should login into the ASCDatabase for further details on how to apply. The deadline for receiving applications is 6 August 2021 at 17.00 EAT.
Annual Core Group Meeting of the African Standby Capacity
The African Union Peace Support Operations Division (AU PSOD) and the ASC technical implementation partners convened the ASC Core Group Meeting on 03 February 2021. The Core Group Meeting, that was held virtually, was attended by the Capability Development Unit and Policy Development Unit of the AU PSOD and technical implementation partners of the ASC: Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD). The ASC Core Group meets once annually to review the activities of the preceding year and to plan activities for the year ahead. The meeting frther provides an opportnity to make financial commitments on areas to support as guided by the available resources outlined in the work plan. This year’s Core Group Meeting focused on the revamping of the ASC database, the ASC Workforce Planning assessment on the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the completion of the Selection Guidelines Manuals for Roster Focal Points, Gender Mainstreaming Training of Roster Focal Points, reviewing of the ASC Roster to update the availability status of experts, outreach and marketing of the ASC and the current transition of responsibilities of lead technical implementation partner of the ASC from ZIF to ACCORD which will be completed by June 2021.
At the end of each year, the African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) and the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Partners (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Center for International Peace Operation (ZIF) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) meet with the Regional Economic Communities/ Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to assess the progress made on set milestones, to address challenges being faced by the RECs/RMs and to recommend solutions to the challenges in implementing the requirements of the ASC. These discussions take into consideration the rotation and change-over of rostering officers at the regional level, as this necessitates the planning of either refresher or induction training for the new personnel on the ASC Roster. The meetings also serve as a platform for planning activities for the following year.
The AU PSOD and the ASC implementation partners held an end of year consultation meeting with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on 3 December 2020, and with the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) on 8 December 2020. In these meetings, the ASC implementation partners addressed the handover of technical implementation partner roles from ZIF to ACCORD, presented the second edition of the Selection Guidelines Manual to the RECs and discussed the enhancement of the ASC database and set benchmarks for 2021. The RECs presented their 2020 roster activities, shared the current number of roster members on their regional rosters and discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their ASC activities. One of the main challenges raised by EASF was that of the loss of institutional memory. There is a lack of documentation of lessons learned and best practices between focal points after the three-year rotation and this has led to new roster focal points having to commence their roles without any information to make reference to from the past. Another challenge raised was that roster members are losing interest as they wait for deployment. There were only two deployment opportunities since last ASC Coordination Meeting in 2019 and these were election observation missions with 10 civilians to Seychelles in 2020 and to Comoros in 2019.
Following the impact COVID-19 has had on ASC activities in 2020, a proposed new working order that will continue to enhance the generation and deployment of civilian capacities was that the AU PSOD, the ASC implementation partners and the RECs should have regular consultation meetings on a quarterly basis.
The ECCAS and EASF meetings were attended by the AU PSOD, ZIF, GIZ, ACCORD and the Head of the Civilian Dimension of the consulted REC.
Recognizing the increasing need for civilian expertise in the Peace Support Operations, in 2008, the African Union Commission took a decision to develop a continental stand-by roster for the African Standby Force in order to identify, pre-select and retain a pool of experienced and trained civilian personnel for rapid deployment. Extensive planning began in 2010 under the auspices of the AUC Peace and Security Department, in close cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and ZIF, followed by a conceptualization and implementation phase from 2012 onwards. In 2015, the ASC roster was inaugurated. The ASC is part of the Civilian Dimension of the ASF, which is a critical element of the African Peace and Security Architecture.
In order to support the operationalization of the ASC, ZIF was tasked in 2012 to provide ongoing client services to the AUC and its partners, covering, among others, advisory work and project management support on human resources management, rostering, capacity building, policy development and technical implementation of the roster infrastructure, including a personnel database. The roster serves the deployment needs of the AUC as well as its participating Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms into peace operations.
ZIF will be phasing out as technical implementation partner of the ASC by mid-2021 and ACCORD will continue its support to the ASC through the Training for Peace Programme.