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Sixteen Southern Sudanese Wildlife Officers graduation ceremony
Date Published: 04 Jan, 2010
Maj General Philipchool (left),Dr.Noah Wekesa and Col (RTD) Elijah Matibo (right) during graduation
Sixteen Southern Sudanese Wildlife Officers on 22nd December 2009 successfully completed a three-month training course in Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation at the Kenya Wildlife Service Institute (KWSTI) at Naivasha.
The colorful graduation ceremony graced by Forestry and Wildlife Minister, Dr. Noah Wekesa, came a day after yet another group of 31 Southern Sudanese officials completed a similar training in wildlife protection and law enforcement at the Manyani Field Training School in Tsavo.
While congratulating the graduants, the minister announced that the government has received an additional US $ 2.8 million to undertake similar courses for the next two years.“Southern Sudan is also well endowed with rich tourist attractions and these courses are meant to impart crucial knowledge and skills to enable them manage wildlife conservation back home,” Wekesa said.
He proposed more students from Southern Sudan to enroll in diploma courses at the Institute as well as in other colleges and universities across the country to have a firm grip in wildlife conservation.The government of Southern Sudan through their Director of Training and Research, Wildlife Services, Maj. General Phillip Chool, thanked Kenya for their continued support especially in the field of technical and capacity building.
“The job that you have done is not only for the good of the trainees, but for the whole of Southern Sudan. We will ensure that the knowledge is well and skillfully applied and through wildlife, we will build on our infrastructure from the revenue tourists pay,” Chool added.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of the Kenya Southern Sudan Liaison Office (KESSULO), Amb. Col (Rtd) Elijah Matibo, challenged the government of Southern Sudan to guard and protect their wildlife heritage.“The potential for Wildlife Conservation and Management in Sudan is enormous but it should be well protected for economic gains in terms of tourist attraction and also as a heritage for generations to come,” he said.
The Governments of Kenya and Southern Sudan started a Training and Capacity Building Program in 2006 after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005.
Under the agreement, Kenya pledged to train Government of Southern Sudan employees in Kenyan Institutions and also second Kenyan experts in Southern Sudan Government Institutions to transfer skills and experiences.
Wildlife Management was the first beneficiary of this extension that has seen more than 1000 officers from the Government of Southern Sudan been trained in various sectors.