Africa should take destiny into own hands — Diplomat

General News of Sunday, 29 January 2017



Girmay DMr Girmay Hailey (middle) with the delegates after the event

The Country Director of UNAIDS, Mr Girmay Hailey, has urged African countries to stand on their own feet in solving their challenges instead of seeking foreign donor support at all times.

He said a clear focus on good policy formulation by African leaders for instance could turn things around and provide them with enough resources to take their destiny into their own hands.

At the opening of the 2017 summit of Young Diplomats of Ghana (YDG) at the British Council in Accra, Mr Halley said the solution to Africa’s challenges could easily be found within.

“As a diplomat, never believe that your economy and country’s growth is dependent on aids and grants, and I am glad that President Donald Trump is expected to rein in development aid to Africa.

“This is good because for the first time, we are going to be left alone to fend for ourselves and learn to negotiate well with the rest of the world and enrich ourselves, instead of losing it all to others in the name of aids and grants,” he said.

HIV education

Mr Hailey urged the delegates to spread the message on safe sex, adding that the emergence of new cases of HIV/AIDS in the country was a matter of grave concern.

He urged people to voluntarily visit health facilities to check their HIV status.

“Over 90 per cent of HIV cases are as a result of sexual relations but we have a society that does not like to practise safe sex and most of the people do not like to check their status too,” he stated.

Other speakers

The one-day event was on the theme: “Building Ghana’s Future Leaders in Diplomacy and Policy Advocacy.”

Other speakers at the event included the Economic Specialist at the UNDP office in Ghana, Mr Kordzo Sedegah, the Human Resource Director of Vodafone Ghana, Ms Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, and the Resident Ambassador at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), Ambassador Kwabena Baah-Duodu.

Ambassador Baah-Duodu, who spoke on the topic “Diplomacy and its practitioners”, stressed that diplomacy was the only peaceful means to advance a country’s foreign policy.

Personal and team building

For her part, Ms Akrong charged the young diplomats to be circumspect about the image and impression they gave about themselves, especially on social media.

Touching on team building, she said, “When you don’t get along with someone in a team, there is always a way to bridge the gap through conversation. It is important that you find time to understand why you are not getting along with that team member and dialogue over the issue to solve it.”

About YDG

The YDG is a non-governmental not-for-profit network that seeks to advance the development of a new generation of aspiring leaders and diplomats.

It provides a unique platform for young professionals and students to engage with senior diplomats and key stakeholders in international affairs to exchange ideas to help them become young global diplomatic leaders.

This is achieved through training, policy campaigns and research, international conferences and summits, top-level interactions and exchange programmes abroad, among other things, aimed at spearheading an agenda of employing diplomacy as a major tool for a sustainable socio-economic development.