• Thursday, September 28, 2023
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League of African Ambassadors to up continent’s global diplomacy role


A new group called the League of African Ambassadors (LAA), aimed at harnessing the skills, experience, and knowledge of African diplomats and ambassadors on the global scene and in Africa in particular, is set to be inaugurated.

In a press statement signed by Ambassador Nwannebuike Eze Ominyi, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia, it was said that the non-governmental platform with membership open to ambassadors or high commissioners of African descent who are at post, out of post, retired, or active in service will be a useful platform in not only fostering unity on the African continent but also helping to nurture new diplomats.

The group identified a worrying development where valuable human resources in the diplomatic sphere that could have been beneficial in the reshaping of the African continent are wasted as a “result of retirement, tenure expiration, or organisational re-structuring.”

It said, “More specifically, the body flays a situation where well-trained and energetic diplomats with vast experiences in diplomacy who ought to continue contributing to Africa’s robust engagement with the world are underutilised either due to factors such as retirement, end of tour of duty, or changes in the home governments.”

It said that the provision of a sustainable platform for African diplomats, after completing their tenure, to continue deploying their wealth of experience in the service of Africa and the whole of humanity was the major driving force behind its establishment.

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Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia, Amb. Nwannebuike Eze Ominyi, is the convener of the league. The co-conveners include Amb. Khadija Iddrisu, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia; Amb. Ahmed El Samawi, Egyptian Ambassador to the Republic of Togo; Amb. Teferi Fikre, Ethiopian Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau; Amb. Steven Katuka, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia; and Amb. Joao Baptista Domingos, Angola’s Ambassador to Ghana.

The much-awaited platform will afford Africa a credible and louder voice on the global scene while ensuring that the collective position on major and sundry issues that affect the continent is more respected. The League will also provide a strong backbone for African leaders on the world stage.

In his remarks, the convener, who is also the Dean of Nigerian Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Amb. Ominyi, said, “The proposed League of African Ambassadors is a clarion call to Your Excellencies to see that Africa still needs our services to help our countries and Africa at large even when our tour of duty comes to an end.”

Speaking further on the rationale behind the League, he noted: “The aim is to create a sustainable platform for us at the end of our tenures to continue deploying our wealth of experience in the service of Africa and the whole of humanity. It is our candid opinion that if Africa is to realise its potential to the maximum, the experiences and understanding of the world that we have all acquired at post should not be allowed to go to waste for any reason. Hence, we are duty-bound to answer this clarion call and launch the League of African Ambassadors and High Commissioners as a non-governmental platform. The membership shall be open to any African Ambassador or High Commissioner at post or out of post, retired or active in service.”

The platform is planning the first virtual convergence of African Ambassadors and High Commissioners as an avenue to formally inaugurate the body while also discussing issues related to promoting diplomacy on the African continent.

Commenting on this auspicious development on the African diplomatic scene, the Secretary of Nigerian Ambassadors and High Commissioners, who doubles as Nigeria High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya, Amb. Yusuf Yunusa, said, “We believe this platform will serve as an avenue to further engage more effectively with the global community on matters of collective interest to engender greater respect for our leaders and citizens. We also plan to support the Africa Union and all our sub-regional organisations in Africa to achieve their goals and objectives. We are open to serving as mentors to newly appointed African Ambassadors and High Commissioners as we build a repository of knowledge that they can tap into. We will create avenues for regular capacity building for diplomats and raise continental awareness on diverse issues of benefit to Africa and the world.”

The group believes that a union of African ambassadors is long overdue and hopes that the League will engender the return of Africa to its prideful place in the global scene.

The Ambassador of Nigeria to the Republic of Togo and one of the promoters, Amb. Debo Adesina, said, “Africa and Africans can only rise on the strength of our ideas as a people. On the mother continent, in the Americas, and across the world, the black race is one. And we must scale the artificial guardrails called borders to unite in hearts and minds as Africans, speak in unison with purpose, proclaim our uniqueness as a people, and act like the chosen ones we truly are!”

Adesina also revealed that one of the unique things LAA does is engage with African statesmen and women with a view to developing ideas on the continent’s future as well as charting the path to her deserved place in the world.

According to him, “many credible former presidents and prime ministers have already been lined up for LAA’s conversations on Africa’s rebirth.” These include Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Gotenbaye Mogae of Botswana, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Joyce Banda of Malawi, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, and Graca Machel-Mandela, among others.

“In due course, serving presidents or heads of states will be engaged by the League with a view to articulating a very united and potent African position on world affairs,” said Adesina.