Staff of the Centre, in a citation in his honour at a pull-out ceremony on Friday, described him as a transparent, all-inclusive and empathetic personality.
“Staff shall definitely never forget the transparency, all-inclusiveness and the sheer empathy that was evident from their Commandant when it became necessary to sacrifice financially to save the long-term survival of the Centre,” Air Commandant George Arko-Dadzie, Deputy Commandant, KAIPTC, said in a citation.
The citation, which was read on behalf of Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defence, said as a seasoned Senior Officer used to confront challenges, Major General Ofori brought to bear during his leadership of the Centre, the kind of meticulousness and an eye for perfection that was at once daunting and admirable.
The colourful ceremony, which had the Military high command, chiefs, staff of the KAIPTC, Santaclausians, and other dignitaries in attendance, was to bid Major General Ofori a farewell as he retires from the Ghana Armed Forces and as Commandant of the Centre.
Maj Gen Francis Ofori was commissioned into the Engineer Corps of the Ghana Army in August 1985 and is the only officer in his intake to have risen to the rank of Major General and the only one still in active service with three others serving outside as Defence Attachés.
He successfully completed all his mandatory career progression courses and other senior non-mandatory courses throughout his 39 years of service to the country.
Major General Ofori assumed the mantle of leadership as Commandant of the KAIPTC in September 2019 and handed over leadership to Maj Gen Richard Addo Gyane earlier at a brief signing ceremony at the Centre.
The Defence Minister said: “With a penchant for learning and the willingness to embrace new ideas, he soon read himself copiously into the Centre’s Strategic Plan and applied himself diligently to positioning the Centre to achieve its set vision and mission.”
He applauded General Ofori for the immense role he played to enhance the image of the Institution and to further deepen its relationship with its partners and stakeholders.
Major General Ofori’s prowess as a leader, Mr Nitiwul said, was evident in the practical and efficient manner in, which he piloted the Centre through the frustratingly challenging days of the raging COVID-19 Pandemic.
He added that: “Staff shall never forget the proactive stance he encouraged everybody to adopt in order to insulate themselves from the pandemic.”
According to the Minister, General Ofori’s tenure did not only face the challenges posed by a pandemic but the repercussions of a larger geopolitical crisis of the Ukraine-Russia war that brought in its wake financial uncertainties.
He said the outgoing Commandant had undoubtedly paid his dues as a worthy ambassador of the KAIPTC, seeing the infrastructure development of the Centre and prioritising the welfare of staff.
“…This is the true mark of a leader with integrity, values and ethical standards worthy of wider emulation,” the Defence Minister emphasised.
Rear Admiral Beick Baffour, Commandant, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, who represented the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, said, “in this Service, our pride is where we rose up to, and not where we could have been. Having served over 39 years in the Ghana Armed Forces, let it remain family – your second family”.
Major General Francis Ofori said his leadership philosophy had embodied care of personnel and that, “soft issues led the charge”.
That, he said, was critical because the human resource available to a leader made a difference, adding that, throughout his career as a leader at various stages, he counted on personnel to work hard towards mission accomplishment.
Maj Gen Ofori said the KAIPTC was one of the crucial Institutions in the sub-region committed to the promotion of peace and security and since its inception had strived to stay loyal to its vision to be the go-to Centre for peace and security issues.