By Alimatu Fofana

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Monday 18th May, 2020 commenced a two day training session for its newly posted Foreign Service Officers at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall at Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming the Resource Persons and trainees, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Florence N. Bangalie thanked the former Ambassadors of Sierra Leone (Ambassador Soulay Daramy, Amb. A. G. Bangali, Amb. Umaru Bonn-Wurrie) and former Diplomatic Officers ( Mr. Abdulrahman Wurrie, Mrs. Margaret Jah Matturi, Mr. Sahr Sundu and Mr. J. G. Caulker)  for answering to the Ministry’s call to share their expertise and experiences with the newly recruited officers.

To the officers, the Director General advised them to treat the training seriously as the acquisition of knowledge from senior Foreign Service Officers will go a long way to reshape them mentally and morally as they journey through their career as Foreign Service Officers.

The Deputy Director General- operations, Mr. Duwai Lungay in his statement, thanked the former Ambassadors for honouring their request to train the newly recruited officers. He added that the training of officers is of priority to the Ministry as it will equip them to carry out their diplomatic functions effectively and efficiently.

Speaking on the duties of the officers, the Deputy Director General, Operations said it is of two folds: Administrative Officers and Diplomats. As Administrative Officers, they will be relating with other MDAs while as Diplomats, they will be relating with mostly the International Community.

In her opening statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis thanked her Management Team for organizing such a laudable training for the newly appointed officers and also thanked the Former Ambassadors for giving in their time to serve as Resource Persons.

She said the presence of the Former Ambassadors was a demonstration of the Ministry’s commitment to forging a strong relationship with them.

Minister Tunis assured that her Ministry will continue to strengthen that bond by calling on them to share their expertise in the growth of the Ministry especially now that the Ministry is working on the establishment of the country’s Foreign Service Academy which will be used as a platform to train diplomats.

She went on to state that her Ministry is presently working on the development of the country’s Foreign Policy, upliftment of the Protocol Department, improvement of the general comportment of Foreign Service Officers and broadening the scope of the country’s  international role.

Speaking on the importance of the training, the Foreign Minister said the training is a demonstration of her Ministry’s commitment as it is approaching diplomacy with the tenacity and commitment that is required for the country to intensify its tenents of modern diplomacy to meet international standards.

The training she furthered, will be focused on Protocol Dynamics, Sierra Leone Foreign Policy, Administrative skills, service as a Foreign Diplomat, relationship between Career and Political Officers at Post, Multilateral System, Bilateral Engagements, Relationship between the Foreign Ministry and the Office of the President and how to handle Diplomatic Documents.

All COVID-19 protocols were duly adhere to during the training sessions.