President calls for more research into security challenges

Ruto at NDC

President William Ruto confers with Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla at the National Defence College in Karen yesterday.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto wants defence and security institutions to engage in research on security challenges affecting the country such as banditry in the North Rift.

Speaking at the National Defence College (NDC) in Karen where 70 senior military officers and civil servants from Kenya and allied states in Africa and Asia graduated from a 49-week course on national security and strategy, President Ruto said such research will provide insights into what is happening and solutions.

He cited NDC, a constituent college of the National Defence University, as a model institution that has consistently made significant contributions towards shaping Kenya’s national security and overall development agenda.

General (Rtd) Daudi Tonje is credited with the vision that led to the establishment of the college to meet the demand for national security and strategy skills among senior military officers who would otherwise have to travel to the United States, United Kingdom, India and Canada for the same.

“Since its inception in 1997, it has sustained a magnificent tradition of providing world-class training and research on national security policy and strategy. It is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that this college has sustained, committed to develop and promote professional leadership skills that have continuously enhanced quality and integrity that deepened overall capacity to bring about desirable peace and security in our region and further afield,” said the President.

The Head of State was accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogola, National Security Advisor Monica Juma, Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt-Gen Jonah Mwangi and the three service commanders.

The graduates were 30 senior military officers and 23 senior civil servants from the National Intelligence Service, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Agriculture ministries, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

The other 17 were from Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The graduates were awarded certificates that authorise them to append the “ndc (K)” after their names.

The training is geared towards equipping senior military officers and public servants with analytical skills that enhance their strategic thinking and decision-making when tackling issues of national interest.

“The participation by officers drawn from diverse sectors enlarges our shared understanding, fosters collaboration and enhances synergy and integration among government agencies in addressing the ever-evolving, increasingly complex national and regional security landscape,” said President Ruto.

He noted that the increasing demand for the course in Africa shows the growing appetite for common approaches to national policies and strategy for the future of the continent’s integration to the Africa that “we all want”.

“I told the graduates of the need for us to work together in synergy to be able to eliminate the borders that separate us, turn them into bridges, so that we can better harness the opportunities that exist in our continent for training, investment and employment,” he said.

President Ruto noted that 11 of the graduates being female is representative of the tremendous progress and promise of gender inclusivity in defence.

Many of the college’s alumni have served in high levels of leadership and management in the country and abroad as principal secretaries, heads of the police and prisons services, and leaders in the military. They include Jeremiah Kianga, Julius Karangi, Samson Mwathethe, Robert Kibochi and Gen Ogolla.

“Maybe it’s the case that if you want to rise to the highest level in the military, you should find your way to this college,” said President Ruto.

NDC Commandant Lt-Gen Albert Kendagor explained that previously, the academic programme was offered in collaboration with the University of Nairobi with a focus on international studies.

“However, with the inception of the National Defence University-Kenya, the programme is now focused on national security and strategy, this cohort being the first class under NDU-K,” he said.