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General News of Friday, 3 November 2017


Ghana envoys need training to avoid needless gaffes – Diplomat

Ambassador Kwabena Baah-Duodu Ambassador Kwabena Baah-Duodu

Diplomat in Residence at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), Ambassador Kwabena Baah-Duodu, is calling for rigorous training for diplomats to equip them with the requisite skills needed in their line of duty.

This comes as pressure continues to mount on President Nana Akufo-Addo to recall Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi-Boateng, over comments he made about prioritising members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the discharge of his duties as a foreign envoy.

This has been widely condemned by civil society organisations and the Minority in Parliament as they say it is blight on the image of the country.

Ghana's former Ambassador to Switzerland, who was a guest on Class FM’s World Affairs on Friday, November 3, told the host, Dr Etse Sikanku, that Mr Ayisi-Boateng’s blunder brings to the fore, the need to constantly train Ghana’s diplomats.

“…we have to make sure that those who are appointed as Ambassadors would have had some minimum training in diplomacy before, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry is able to do that through the orientation programme. But I think the present system of about two or three weeks training is too short a time. I think, judging from what has happened, I think a considerable number of weeks or months will have to be devoted to that. In some countries, it is three months, so, before they go out, they know some of the rudiments of diplomacy,” he stated.

Speaking on the same show, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the loud silence of the President on the matter is not comforting as he pointed out that “the silence of the executive has not being helpful”.

For him, comments by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, that the apology should settle the matter “is not enough” and a clear message from the President is needed.

For him, the Minority “will be disappointed if the President does not take further action” adding it is a situation “where silence is not golden at all”.

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