The APSTA week began on the 4th September with the holding of the 11th APSTA Board Meeting, preceding the 14th Annual Conference (AC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The board deliberated on APSTA matters that were to then be presented to the AC from 5th – 6th and AGM on the 7th September 2016. Key issues of focus apart from other operational matters were included; (1) funding for the operations of the Secretariat, (2) A review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Peace and Security Operations Division (PSOD), and (3) identification and appointment of the Honorary Member. The gathering also saw the launch of two APSTA products: the Comprehensive Review of African Conflicts and Regional Interventions (CRACRI) and the Harmonised Training Standards for Integrated Mission Planning confirmed the knowledge production sided of the ASPTA member institutions.
ACCORD attended the meeting in its capacity as the outgoing Southern African region Board Member. ACCORD previously served in the APSTA Executive Committee for the period 2009-2010.
The APSTA Annual Conference took place from 5 – 6 September 2016 and was attended by 14 Member Institutions. The APSTA AGM took place on 7th September, and inter alia, it serves as the forum for the approval or endorsement of the decisions or recommendations that would have been taken by the Board or the Conference.
The theme of the 2016 AGM was: “Achieving the Objectives of the APSA Roadmap 2016 – 2020: The Foundations of Training, Education and Learning”, was significantly embraced by all institutions through, among other ideas, the need for an integrated approach in training of the African Standby force (ASF) in order to continue to strengthen the ASF’s capacity to implement Peace Support Operations (PSOs) in a multidimensional framework. Harmonisation of course curricula was recognized and while institutions accepted deeper and closer cooperation and exchange of training materials, the need for respecting institutional comparative advantages and areas of specialisation was also endorsed.
The outgoing Chair reiterated the importance of APSTA as a strategic platform which must be further strengthened; Member Institutions were also urged to continuously defend the integrity of APSTA as an independent forum for engagements on issues of PSOs in Africa. Among other outcomes, a new Chair and Board Members were elected for the 2016-2017 term of office.