By Awa B. Bah
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad (MOFA), in collaboration with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
on Tuesday 12th September 2017, opened a three- day induction training workshop for Gambia’s Diplomatic Personnel and Foreign Service Officers at a local hotel in Senegambia. The aim of the induction training workshop was to create the platform where the newly appointed diplomats can interact, share experiences and good practices as well as boost their diplomatic skills.
Mr. Ousainou Darboe who is the Foreign Affairs Minister, commended the UNDP for securing funds to conduct this important training; that the training will go a long way in complementing the government’s efforts to make the foreign service a vibrant institution ready to meet the demands and challenges of the twenty first century.
The minister said his ministry is a strategic institution in the new governments drive to attain its foreign development objectives. For the ministry to be effective in executing its mandate, he said the personnel of the ministry must be equipped with the required skills to deliver effective and quality service to the nation.
Diplomatic missions abroad, he said, are the foreign policy apparatus where foreign policy power reaches for translation and implementation into action. The national development plan, he said, is the blueprint of the barrow administration, spelling out the roles and mandate of the ministry of foreign affairs. He called on the newly appointed Gambian diplomats to prove that their selection in the foreign service is not a mistake by the Barrow administration.
Deputizing the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service was Ebrima Ceesay, Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President. Ceesay said the induction training for Gambian Diplomats is timely as the country is in the process of restoring and amending her diplomatic relations, with the rest of the world.
‘‘The new Diplomats,’’ he said, ‘are critical in the process as they play key roles in portraying the positive images of the country to the outside world. Building the Gambian Diplomatic Personnel and Foreign Service Officers capacity he said is a key step for a diplomat and a Foreign Service officer to remain relevant in this dynamic world.
Ceesay noted that the three- day training will enable participants to discuss, share experience, provide guidance and build skills for better service delivery.
Nassie Golakai-Gould, deputy resident representative of the UNDP, said the world is aware of the Gambia’s recent transition which has shown the country’s move from an autocratic regime to a dispensation that is based on democratic norms and values. She said it is important that these new core of ambassadors take a reflection of the code values of the system. The role of ambassadors, she said, is not only to ensure and foster cordial relationships with sister nations, but to protect and promote the political, social and trade interest of their states.
She urged the newly appointed ambassadors to promote the UN values of sustainable development both for the Gambia and the world at large.
Njogu Bah, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, chaired the opening ceremony.