Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas has written a letter to a man who played a role in preparing him for a career in international diplomacy.
The letter should have been read when Prof. S.K.B. Asante was outdooring his book ‘No Road Signs, No Manuals, My Journey Through Life,’ at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra recently.
Dr. Chambas who was scheduled to be part of the dignitaries at the occasion could not make it due to unexpected assignments.
The contents of the letter should have been read at the book launch, but that failing, we present its contents upon the authorities of its author and Prof. S.K.B. Asante who made it available to the DAILY GUIDE.
Dr. Chambas is a Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).
Prof. S.K.B. Asante
Dear Prof, my Dear Teacher and Friend,
I regret that due to previously scheduled activities associated with the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, I am unable to join you today for the launch of your Autobiography.
There is no doubt about the significant influence you have had on me, and contribution you have made to my intellectual and professional life. You were the first to introduce me to “Regional and International Organizations” in your classes at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana. That is where I got my groundings for diplomacy and international relations. If I work today as a senior official of the preeminent international organization, the United Nations, you deserve credit for stimulating in me the academic interest, and laying the solid foundation that enabled me to succeed in the various challenging positions I have held in national, sub-regional and multi-lateral institutions.
I have, over the years, maintained contacts with you and continued to benefit from your rich knowledge and experiences in regional integration and multilateral economic issues and trade negotiations. Your tutelage did not end once I left your classroom at Legon. I only cite two examples. While I was the Executive Secretary of the ECOWAS, I called upon you to chair a Committee to advise me on a planned restructuring of the organization into a Commission. You did not fail me. The report of your committee was the basis for the transformation of the ECOWAS into a Commission which positioned it as a model sub-regional institution in Africa. If the period of my leadership at ECOWAS is today referred to as the “Golden Age” of the institution, you must rightfully share in the credit.
The second instance was during my tenure as Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States in Brussels, Belgium. Again, I tapped into your extensive research and elucidating publications in the areas of trade negotiations and multilateral trade agreements to support the ACP States in general, and the ECOWAS in particular, in their negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. It was in this context that I participated in the launch of your last book in Accra in 2011.
Prof., you have been a humble teacher, a prolific academic, a rigorous researcher and an accomplished international public servant. You have been a role model to many of us who have been privileged to have been your students. Above all, you have been a friend and inspiration to me.
I join the several well-wishers and loved ones assembled today for the launch of your autobiography in recognizing your remarkable accomplishment, and wishing you all the best for future successes.
Your loving student,
Mohamed Ibn Chambas