Dr Amanda Coffie, a research fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) has urged the government to expand training for its Ambassadors and High Commissioners to reduce gaffes and ensure effective performance.
“It will be good for us as a nation, to have structures in place for training appointees so that we don’t have gaffes like what we had regarding the High Commissioner to South Africa. This should not be a two-week training that you can do at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This can be done in collaboration with organisations like LECIAD,” she said on the World Affairs programme on Class91.3FM.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi-Boateng, caused public outrage last year when in an address to members of the Tertiary Students’ Confederacy Network (TESCON) in the Ashanti Region last year, said his first priority was to members of the governing New Patriotic Party.
Dr Coffie is of the view that increasing or extending training opportunities for newly-appointed diplomats, will help to reduce such incidents.
She further posited that government should appoint more career diplomats than political ones. “The proportionate higher number of political appointees is quite interesting and novel. While I do not take away the president’s right to appoint envoys, I think that the higher number of political appointees is something that we really need to consider as a country. We have career diplomats but increasingly, we see that our current president is making a lot of political appointments. We now have deputy envoys who are politically appointed. We generally haven’t had a lot of deputy ambassadors or high commissioners but in the event that we have had them, the norm has been to have career diplomats.”