League of African Ambassadors debuts

By Emma Emeozor

As part of efforts to enable retired African diplomats to continue deploying their wealth of experience in the service of the continent and the whole of humanity, the League of African Ambassadors and High Commissioners has birthed and is set for formal inauguration.

This was disclosed yesterday in a press statement issued by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia, Ambassador Nwannebuike Eze Ominyi and made available to Daily Sun. According to Ominyi, the body will function as a Non-Governmental Platform.

He said the need to form the League became necessary as “skilled and experienced human resources are being wasted in Africa as a result of retirement, tenure expiration or organisational re-structuring.” This, he said, is denying the continent the expertise or energy of people who can still contribute to the reshaping of it. Ominyi 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 is in view of this that the League of African Ambassadors has been birthed to create 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.

“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 to African leaders on the world stage.”

The founding fathers of the body include: 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, Ethiopia 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. In his opening remarks during the inauguration of the association, the convener, who is also the Dean of Nigeria Ambassadors and High Commissioners,  Eze, 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.”

One of the conveners, Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Togo, Debo Adesina disclosed that many credible former Presidents and Prime Ministers have been lined up for League’s conversations on Africa’s re-birth.” These include Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki of South Africa and 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.

Adesina also revealed that one of the unique things the group will 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.

Commenting, 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 which 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.”

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