The Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT); the Government of Liberia; and the UN System, will today, 18 August 2021, memorialize the legacy of fallen UN Secretary General Dr. Kofi Annan, with the implementation of the Kofi Annan Living Memorial (KALM), at the University of Liberia.
The event marks the third anniversary of the death of Dr. Annan, as well as the date of the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement that brought to an end Liberia’s 14 year-long civil crisis.
In the wake of the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement, the ECOWAS office was established in Liberia and the largest UN peacekeeping force was fielded in the country.
It was also against that background that the Government of Liberia under the University of Liberia (UL) then President and current Ambassador to Nigeria, Al Hassan Konteh, transferred, through resolution of its Senate and with concurrence of the Visitor of the University, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the existing institute for Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia into the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation (KAICT).
In October 2006, the UL inaugurated the KAICT in honor of Secretary General Kofi Annan’s valuable contributions to conflict resolution and transformation in Africa, particularly in Liberia, which, under his leadership, the United Nations helped to transform civil war to democratic elections.
The Institute was launched in the auditorium of the UL’s Capitol Hill Campus by former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, representing the UL Visitor and the Government of Liberia, and Mr. Luiz Carlos da Costa the Officer-in-Charge of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Performing the inauguration ceremony, Vice President Joseph Boakai said the launch was “a special manifestation of Liberia’s desire for long-lasting peace. We should learn to beat our swords into ploughshares. We are all aware that conflict is a human phenomenon that brings out contradictions and these contradictions can be transformed into meaningful and positive initiatives that benefit humanity.”
For His part, UNMIL Officer-in-Charge Mr. Luiz Carlos da Costa said: “Not so many years ago Liberia was spoken of as the epicenter of instability in the region. It was now time that label and for Liberia to demonstrate, by example, that it can be the regional center stability and development. The KAICT will fulfill the essential and vital role of educating and teaching, which can restore the soul of the country. Only through the in-depth study of the root causes of past problems, the reaching of understanding in inter-group relations and the commitment of an educated corps of persons can nations be built.”
Kings College London, the UN Development Programmme (UNDP) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana were among organizations that initially contributed resources and personnel for the establishment of KAICT to award the Masters of Arts Degree in Conflict Transformation at the UL.