The Deputy Foreign Minister Mamadi Gobeh has led a 5-man delegation to the Hungarian capital, Budapest on a study tour of their diplomatic academy.
The tour is a continuation of series of study visits conducted by the Ministry as they conclude Sierra Leone’s first diplomatic academy.
During the visit, the Deputy Minister and her delegation met with high profile government officials, including the Deputy Foreign Minister of Hungary and senior members of staff of the Foreign ministry, the head of the Hungarian diplomatic academy (HAD) and team as well as, the rector and heads of department of the Ludovika university in Budapest.
Speaking during a meeting with her Hungarian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara noted that the State of Hungary was one of the earliest European countries to establish bilateral ties with Sierra Leone after the latter gained independence from Great Britain in 1961. Sierra Leone’s Consular Representation she went on, was established in 1993 and remains SL’s oldest Consular Representation.
She informed the meeting that the government of Sierra Leone in its quest to develop its human capital base has made education a key priority across the board. Sierra Leone, she furthered is in the process of establishing a Foreign Service Academy, that will cater for the training needs of serving and would- be diplomats to better prepare them for diplomatic assignments both at headquarters and abroad. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara noted that the construction of the physical structure of the Academy is far advanced but the development of the soft infrastructure which involves peer reviews, best practices, challenges on the operations of other academies is what the Ministry has embarked on.
This tour, to Hungary the Deputy Foreign Minister maintained, is to engage the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to get firsthand information about their experience in putting together a world class diplomatic training institute on the one hand and hold discussions on further deepening the diplomatic and bilateral relations between our two countries on the other.
She noted that the several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the two countries on Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement since 1973; Agreement on Aviation Conventions in 1975; (iii) Agreement on Convention on Cultural and Scientific Cooperation in 1983 and recently an MOU on mutual cooperation for Water Management between the Ministry of Interior of Hungary and the Ministry of Water Resources of Sierra Leone and the successfully negotiation for an increase in Sierra Leone’s scholarship quota from 10 to 50 for Sierra Leoneans pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various fields.
She thanked the Minister for the warm hospitality accorded her and her team and pledged Sierra Leone’s commitment to continuously work with the government of Hungary as both countries work to deepen their diplomatic ties.
In his response Deputy Foreign Minister of Hungary Levente Magyar thanked the delegation of Sierra Leone for choosing his country as part of countries identified for their study tour. The government of Hungary stands ready to provide the necessary support for the Sierra Leone Foreign service academy to be a world class academic centre for diplomats both in Sierra Leone and the West African sub region. He said the Hungarian Diplomatic Academy was set up under the auspices of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to train professionals committed to representing and protecting Hungary’s political and economic interests. It is affiliated with the National Public Service University (NKE) with the training programs such as diplomat training programme and the diplomatic leadership programme both of which last for a year.
He further mentioned his government’s intention to launch a 50 million dollar tied aid credit programme with Sierra Leone in the field of water treatment. Discussions are ongoing and as soon as “we get things cleared up with the processes and procedures, we will progress with it”. he added
Levente Magyar says that the Hungarian Foreign Minister is expected to visit Sierra Leone sometime in this year and other firm commitments will be made for our two countries.
A presentation on how the academy works was done by the head of department of the Hungarian Diplomatic Academy, Adam Imre Szucs and a tour of the Ludovica, University of public Service formed part of the tour.
The delegation from Sierra Leone, include Isha Sillah, Deputy Director General ,Lamina Vamboi Director of Protocol, and other officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.