The Civilian Component of the SADC Standby Force (SADC SF) conducted a maiden Civilian Foundation Course (CFC) exclusively for SADC SF Civilian Roster members at the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) in Harare, Zimbabwe from 22 October to 04 November 2017.
The training was attended by 26 participants from SADC Member states. The course participants comprised experts from different fields, including medical, administration and human resource, budgeting and finance, engineering, public information, negotiation and mediation, legal and humanitarian affairs.
The training aimed to among other things, provide orientation on basic and foundational SADC/AU Peace Support Operations (PSO) issues to prepare rostered personnel to effectively contribute to mandate implementation when deployed in a SADC/AU PSO; increase awareness and understanding of the role of the Civilian Component of the African Standby Force (ASF)/SADC SF; and also enhance skills of the SADC SF Civilian Roster members. The training employed a combination of instructional methodology ranging from lectures, syndicate discussions and simulations employing the CARANA Base Scenario to consolidate learning.
The SADC SF Planning Element (PLANELM) is charged with the responsibility of planning for peace missions and exercises as well as generating and preparing the civilian capacity needed for potential AU and SADC Peace Support Operations (PSOs). In order to achieve this objective, the PLANELM has been undertaking activities in order to enhance awareness, build capacity and consequently fully operationalize the Component. The readiness of the Civilian Component to deploy largely depends on the availability of experts who are qualified and ready to participate in PSOs. In this regards, special attention has been given to the process of populating the Civilian Roster of the SADC Standby Force also known as African Standby Capacity (ASC) Database/Roster. The roster is being populated with civilian experts who are willing and able to be deployed in Peace Support Operations in the SADC region and the continent at large. These experts, once registered as roster members, are required to undergo training in order to enhance their skills and prepare them for PSO whenever the need arise.
This training Course is therefore in line with the African Standby Force (ASF) Policy Framework, which stipulates that ASF personnel which includes the SADC SF personnel, should be equipped with the required skills to perform their expected roles and functions within an ASF/AU Peace Support Operations (PSO) when deployed within short notice.
According to the African Standby Force (ASF) standby roster system, the SADC Standby Force will be on standby at the continental level from June to July 2019. This means that the SADC SF has to be fully prepared and ready (in all three components of the SADC SF) to be deployed anywhere on the continent whenever needs arises. It is therefore critical that the Civilian Component is operationally ready and hence the conduct of such training.