Why Liberia Needs Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in Post-Ebola Era

Why Liberia Needs Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in Post-Ebola Era


first_imgThe post Ebola epoch presents an challenge for the three most affected countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to refocus their diplomacy and put their diplomats to work, as these countries especially Liberia seeks international partners as the country emerges from an idle and desperate economic situation which has been paralyzed due to the scourge. Liberia would not have received the worldwide benevolence it got if not for apt diplomatic initiatives and had serious negotiations not taken place sometimes long hours into the night, as perceptively as possible with grinding efforts, employing the tools of diplomacy for national advancement.That is why those tasked with economic and political activities at embassies must be sharp, cognizant of global prevailing dynamics and the dealings meant to shape policy and bring about the desired results; keep check of the financial and political movers and shakers, be well-schooled and knowledgeable of the subtleties of economic and commercial diplomacy which encourages greater cooperation and relations that protects investment and bilateral ties between two states or among multinational conglomerates.A diplomat, according to customary norms, should be acknowledgeable of other states, regions, and of the mechanisms and procedures of international intercourses which involves knowledge of the world network of diplomatic missions and consular posts, their functions, their practices and structures. As an added advantage, a diplomat should be verse in crisis management and damage control and, as far as possible as well must be rounded in his duties.The former Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Henry Kissinger, have written in detailed, that in the formulation of foreign policy, it is obvious that the economic and trade diplomacy are inseparable elements of conventional diplomacy, particularly in its professional management. Dr. Kissinger’s experiences and works are certainly recommended readings for foreign policy students.The Liberian experience cannot be discounted in these narratives. Astute diplomacy for example was needed and still continues to in the post Ebola and war Western African country. In relations to what has already been said; that after the Liberian civil war, as warlord turned president, Charles Taylor had balkanized and ran the country into the ground, and more so diplomatically, given his mischievous political and military adventurism especially in the sub region. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her foreign relations team acted quickly and were able to, since 2005, use the international order to rebrand Liberia’s image, both economically and tactfully to garner foreign and international goodwill and investments, hence pivoting the country on the international stage as Liberia transitioned from war to peace. In a true sagacity, President Sirleaf and her youthful Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, and his team should be lauded. Undoubtedly, economic, trade and commercial diplomacy should be paramount to Liberia’s project and that requires a strong background of diplomacy from a multidisciplinary perspective. Professional diplomacy is an appropriate instrument to perform this synthesis, to the extent that it can use its persuasive techniques in favor of businesses and investments and, simultaneously, prove to be politically and economically profitable to the state.However, it is clear that economic and commercial interests, particularly those related to investment, exports, protection and assistance could be essential aspects of the diplomatic activities of a considerable number of countries especially Liberia. Actually, economic and trade diplomacy involves joint and just efforts through cooperation between governments and the private and public business sectors with respect to external actions to achieving economic goals linked to the national interests.Another fascinated field of diplomacy especially for underdeveloped countries such as Liberia is economic, trade and commercial diplomacy. In contemporary diplomacy, the issues of economic interests, trade, protection of nationals, and security have all become much more difficult, with major challenges affecting the practices of diplomacy being influenced by major actors and powerful states, and sometimes at the continued loss of global, continental and regional groupings. Other factors such as bad political decisions in domestic politics, economic growth, and technological development, corruption among others have greatly affected African diplomacy in time past, even so now today!Vividly, I can remember the famous words of my professor during my studies in Paris, France when he stressed that diplomats should be fully aware of the new insightful changes in international relations and be able to partner major institutions and influential businesses [companies] in the host countries to enhance economic growth, trade and investment back home. A diplomat should also possess specialist qualities such as: political awareness, economic and trade knowledge, personal acceptability, education, intellectual curiosity and flexibility, and not just sit and wait to be tele-guided. A diplomat should level up fully to the new trends of diplomatic behaviors and challenges, taking into consideration the contemporary complexities of the international system, in which multiplicity of major actors operate, which stresses new approaches and solutions for a new demanding world order.In order for a Foreign Service officer including ambassadors to gain respect on the global stage also, there must be a taste and desire to seek new knowledge by reading and conducting research about the host country to which he is assigned; he must also be aware that contemporary diplomacy goes beyond mere curtails and red wine. Hence, diplomacy must not be seen as money making venture to enrich oneself and family against the greater good of society.Diplomacy has brought development to other nations for example as already enumerated and economic and trade values as seen in varied negotiations with bilateral and multilateral bodies, as the Liberian case illustrates, as well as increased economic and commercial activity. As part of the State’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and trade are now being given greater priority; these areas are now key factors in the development of contemporary international politics.It is also essential to ensure greater consistency in the identification of sustained national economic interests abroad and, through careful analysis, developed a model that can effectively ensure a safety pin to guide economic diplomacy in carrying out external economic relations by appointing people who are intellectually efficient and knowledgeable in the field of their calling, hence, diplomats should be appointed to assignments or missions where they can be operatively successful, as they serve the interest efficiently of their respective countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img


Lae to savour big grand final day

first_imgPresident Alex Toki says this grand final will be one of the biggest in the history of soccer in the LFA and will feature all the 11 division teams, both women and men’s.Toki says the grand final day will feature under 17, Under 20, Under 20 Reserves grade both men’s and women’s , 1st Division men’s, A League and Premiers.Toki says two fields will be used and before the main grand final there will be a curtain raiser game between Lae Masters and Wau Masters, both team’s players comprise old Morobe soccer players plus the grand final of Meri Futbol in junior women’s  program.Toki said in under 17 women’s,  Bara will take on 12A Pascols while in Men’s Balob will go up against Zilu Scientific West. In under 20 women’s 8 Mile Pukpuks will challenge Malabu  while Men’s will see Ahi taking on ADCO and Balob up against Malabu in under 20 division two.Another grand final match in the under 20 reserve division two will see City United challenging Blue Kumuls while in other reserves men’s,  Poro will challenge Trobriand Island.The main game in the afternoon will be between Wantoks and Lae Biscuit Poro  in women’s A League division while B League men’s  will feature Eriku wawens testing  Chakalua and will end with Premier League division grand final between City United taking on Lae Biscuit Poro.Toki said that the games will feature new and upcoming NSL players and urged NSL team selectors to make their way to Lae and watch the game.last_img

Cup and Plate teams confirmed for Amaiu 7s Cup

first_imgIn the plate grand final, Brothers (1) will go up against North East.Brothers thrashed Nova 38-14 in the semi-final while North East were too strong for Wanderers  (1),  winning 28-0.In the Cup grand final, the University Piggies will play the Harlequins.Piggies edged out Baike Brothers 22-21.In the second Cup grand final, Harlequins romped home to victory over Defence 22-19.last_img

Muruks to get back to basics

first_img“We’re just lacking getting the basics right at the moment. We’re not completing our sets of six, our ball control is poor and so is our defence.“The Gurias capitalized on this and beat this. They were the better side yesterday afternoon. “This week at training will be about getting back to the basics and making sure we do the simple things right,” said Kereme.He added that there will definitely be changes made for this Sunday’s round 4 clash against the TNA Simbu Lions at home in Mendi.The Muruks have lost two games this season and are sitting second last on the ladder with 1 competition point.This came from a 16-16 draw with the Wamp Nga Mt.Hagen Eagles in round two.last_img

NRL steps up its Voice Against Violence

first_imgOn the eve of Representative Round, representative players from Australia, New Zealand, City, Country and Pacific teams gathered at Rugby League Central in a combined show of support and to reaffirm efforts to end domestic violence.Representative players included Corey Parker (Kangaroos), Ruan Sims (Jillaroos), Sarina Fiso (Ferns), James Maloney (Country), Wade Graham (City), Peni Terepo (Tonga), Stanton Albert (PNG) and Eloni Vunakece (Fiji).The NRL has worked alongside domestic violence partners Our Watch, White Ribbon and Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to develop additional resources and education tools in the fight against domestic violence, with a new commercial, website and education sessions announced today.Ambassador Alan Tongue will lead a group of NRL ambassadors in visiting communities throughout regional and rural Australia, helping to educate young men in particular on the importance of standing up, speaking out and taking action against domestic violence.”Our strong stance against this terrible issue is one of the most important messages that we can impart on communities and as a game, we will continue to do everything we can to prevent domestic violence,” Mr Tongue said.”We have a responsibility to our Rugby League players, their families and our communities at large to ensure they receive the education, support and resources available to make informed decisions and ultimately, make positive and consistent behaviour choices.”Kangaroos player Matt Scott will join Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga in a new commercial that highlights the need to communicate and speak out against domestic violence before it is too late.And a new website has been created, providing testimonials and interviews with former and current rugby league players, together with support options and advice from the NRL’s domestic violence partners.The NRL has received funding from ‘Our Watch’ (an independent, not for profit organisation aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate communities that violence of any kind is not okay.CEO Mary Barry congratulated the NRL on its continued stand against domestic violence and additional resources announced.”This isn’t a sporting issue or a rugby league issue, however sport has the opportunity to play an important role in preventing violence against women and their children,” said Ms Barry.”Sporting clubs and organisations bring together large numbers of people and are a ready-made environment to promote women’s participation and opportunities to eliminate gender-based discrimination, disrespect for women and violence-supportive attitudes.”It is pleasing that this is what the NRL is doing and the code should be commended for providing ongoing awareness towards ending discrimination and violence against women.”The NRLs domestic violence commercial will air for the first time during the upcoming Downer Test Match on Friday 6 May and education resources can be viewed online. Key messages:• One in three women in Australia have experienced physical violence.  This is unacceptable.• The NRL, together with players, Clubs, States, Pacific neighbours and communities, wants to continue to be a catalyst for change and contribute directly to the long-term prevention of domestic violence.• The game is strengthening its ongoing work and resolve to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence – forming a coalition alongside domestic violence experts, to change the behaviours, attitudes and actions of those in our communities that think domestic violence is ok.• The NRL has received funding from ‘Our Watch’ (a Federal Government department aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate young males in particular, that violence of any kind is not ok.• Voice Against Violence includes a Grassroots program for 16 – 18 year olds, a new commercial and website, aimed at decreasing and ultimately, ending domestic violence.last_img

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