South Sudan grooms personnel for diplomatic missions

By Gladys Fred Kole

At least twenty-five (25) officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry embarked on ten days of training on diplomacy.

National Ministry of Trade and Industry organised the training with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) funding.

After the ten days of training, the 25 trade officials will sit for a test that will see 12 best officials progress to another five days of training in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Arusha training qualifies the candidates to be trade ambassadors and deployed as attachés to various South Sudan embassies abroad.

The major aim of the training is for participants to gain the skills needed to be effective diplomats during trade and investment missions outside the country.

They are also being groomed to promote South Sudan’s business interests outside, attract investments, and facilitate trade between South Sudan and the international market.

Executive Director of external trade and EIF coordinator, Augustino Kenyi said during the opening speech that the Minister of Trade and Industry initiated the idea.

“The learners will be equipped with tools of negotiation, trade negotiations, market negotiations, market analysts, investment facilitation, and trade promotions, among others,” Kenyi explained.

He stated that after this training, the participants will market South Sudan in the host country’s embassies, wherever they are placed as trade attachés.

Their responsibility will be to attract direct foreign investors to come and invest in South Sudan.

“You are in a classroom, meaning you will have examinations; today you are 25, and then from there 13 are going to fail, 12 will pass, so the 12 will be taken to Arusha, which means work hard to be among the selected,” Kenyi emphasized the trainees.

He noted that 13 of those who will fail the exams at the end of the training will return to their normal office duties.

Mary Akech Milla, the first undersecretary at the Ministry of trade, expressed is critical, stating that more trainings will be held at the Ministry.

“By nature, trade officers are trade diplomats, but this diplomacy that we are doing at the domestic level may require us to add value to it so that we can be able to represent our country in the region and around the globe,” she stated.

Meanwhile, UNDP deputy country resident representative, Titus Osundina told the participants to pay attention to the lectures.

Osundina encourages the aspiring trade officials to place the interests of the nation first, adding that they needed the skills to do the negotiations, which is why they are taking the training.

“You are going to negotiate with people who are already skilled and experienced; they have all their ways to talk to you,” he noted.

“Having the skills to engage in economic and commercial diplomacy, we ensure you will be effective negotiators, leaders, and strong advocates for the interests of the citizens,” Osundina continued.

They will be providing strong support for the internalization of the country’s economy and its businesses.

However, the technical advisor in the Ministry of Trade, Simon Nyang Anei, who represented the minister, spoke about the need to support South Sudan’s trade officials.

“Well-informed, confident trade officials who can share their valuable insights and practical tools will assist in propelling the economy of South Sudan to the next level by promoting exports and showcasing South Sudan as a destination for investment,” Anei said.

The technical advisor urged the participants to seize this opportunity to broaden our horizons, develop new strategies, and foster a greater understanding of commercial and economic diplomacy.

“I encourage all participants to actively participate, network, and embrace the knowledge presented during this training program,” Anei underscored.

The training is held under the theme “strengthening capacity for economic diversification.”


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