Vice President Nangolo Mbumba says Namibia has taken a giant leap forward in its pursuit of excellence in diplomacy with the opening of the School of Diplomatic Studies, launched by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in collaboration with the University of Namibia.

The development is welcomed as a significant step towards providing diplomatic skills and the knowledge necessary to navigate the complex world of international relations.

Mbumba, who is also the Chancellor of the University of Namibia presided over the official launch, which heralded a new era of academic training for Namibian diplomats. 

The school is envisioned to become a hub of excellence in diplomatic training, research, and community outreach by 2030 and beyond.

Mbumba, called on Namibia to position itself to occupy key positions in international forums on issues such as climate change, food security, safety and security, bilateral and multilateral relations, and sustainable growth.

UNAM's Vice Chancellor Professor Kenneth Matengu noted the complexity of diplomacy in the modern world, citing the analytical and negotiation skills, trade agreements, international security, and ethical considerations that diplomats must navigate in their work.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, described the opening of the School of Diplomatic Studies as a dream come true. 

She noted that most Namibian diplomats were trained via various means and platforms as a means of lobbying for Namibia's  independence, rather than through academic training.

The school's inaugural enrollment of students is slated for April 3rd, with a focus on developing critical thinkers informed by geopolitical information.

Diplomatic training was previously outsourced to foreign institutions or personnel, but the new school will now provide a much-needed academic grounding for local diplomats.

Nandi- Ndaitwah underscored that - as the world evolves, diplomats must negotiate not only with foreign states but also with various other players, such as media, religious institutions, private companies and institutions, community organizations, and other external players. 

Diplomats, she says are still relevant in analysing critical information and forming opinions key to advising their governments with economic diplomacy, in particular, taking on greater importance.

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Daniel Nadunya