Young Ethiopian diplomats step up their diplomatic English language skills

Aug 29, 2014

State Minister H. E. Ambassador Birhane G/Kiritos handing out certificates to graduates

(Addis Ababa, August 29 2014): Sixty young diplomats have received certificates following an  intensive Diplomatic English language training at the Civil Service College.

The training, provided by the British Council, was held with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through its capacity development project and is designed to enhance the English language skills of Ethiopian diplomats.

In noting the absolute importance of diplomatic English in Ethiopia’s diplomacy, H. E. Ambassador Birhane G/Kiritos, lauded the training is helping Ethiopia to develop highly qualified and effective diplomats. He appreciated and underscored the importance of the partnership and the support of UNDP to his ministry and congratulated trainees for successful completion of their courses.  

“Diplomacy English is crucial to succeed in the relationships with other foreign countries,” noted Samuel Bwayla, UNDP’s Ethiopia Country Director. He stressed that, “UNDP will continue the partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to realize the establishment of Language Center at the Foreign Service Training Institute.”

The Diplomatic English language training is the second round of its kind and focused on developing vocabulary of trainees on persuasive, diplomatic and international relations; preparing and delivering effective presentations and speeches; building negotiation, thought framing, processing arguments skills and enhancement of writing reports. According to Dassa Bulcha, Program Analyst at the UNDP, all the first round trainees were successfully placed in different embassies and organizations to represent and work for their ministry.

“I joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat trainee reducing my salary as a practicing lawyer to contribute to the development of my country,” says Lila Desta, one of the trainees who has benefited from the Diplomatic English Training. Lila expresses how the training boosted her English language skills, “I can now prepare and deliver first class public speech and presentations on selected topics, negotiate persuasively and discuss current and foreign affairs fluently. I will use these skills to attract foreign investors to my country to create employment opportunities, knowledge and technological transfer. I hope one day I will become an influential person to my country as a diplomat”.

Other trainees, just like Lila attested how the training improved their knowledge while providing real life practical exercise to enhance their public speech, negotiation skills, report writing and networking. The training was interactive and created networking opportunities for participants throughout the course.

UNDP’s support to MoFA also comprises provision of up-stream policy advice, technical support, capacity building and brokering partnerships within the UN and development partners. Through its leadership programme, UNDP is helping senior leadership in Ethiopia, at ministerial and ambassadorial and regional presidential level, to be exposed to emerging issues and have access to new thinking and skills through access to training, twining with institutions such as think-tanks, and south-south cooperation.

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