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Diplomats urged to promote national interests

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Harare (New Ziana) – New graduands from the diplomatic training program should promote national interests and their discussions in foreign lands should not deviate from Government policies, a senior official has said.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade permanent secretary James Manzou said this while addressing 24 grandaunts who recently completed 11 months of diplomatic training at the Zimbabwe Foreign Service Institute (ZFSI) in the capital.

“This course was very necessary in preparing all of you for your future roles as the country’s representatives abroad and I hope that you fully grasped the course contents of the entire programme. You also had the opportunity to engage, comprehend and analyse the foreign policies of various countries through presentations delivered by their respective embassies.

“This in essence, was a glimpse of what Foreign Service is all about and it is my fervent hope that you’ll use that experience in the execution of your duties at Head Office and missions abroad,” he said.

He said the programme they have just concluded was tailor-made to provide them with exposure to the fundamental aspects of Zimbabwe’s diplomacy and also equip them with the professional and administrative skills to effectively articulate Zimbabwe’s foreign policy.

Manzou said as foreign service officers, they should be able to think outside the box in order to attract new business investments for Zimbabwe.

He added that whenever they have the opportunity to engage the diasporans, they must share with them the economic opportunities in the country.

“I have also been informed that you all participated in the educational tours in various provinces. Allow me to reiterate the importance of these tours as they capacitate you with the practical experience necessary for a Foreign Service officer to efficiently project a positive image on Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.

“You should always be of high moral fibre. Over and above what you say, your behaviour influences the way the host countries see you. Ultimately, they will see and understand and perceive Zimbabwe through your behaviour, good or bad,” he said.

Manzou said while The Diplomatic Training course has been extended to eleven weeks from initially six months, it was his expectation that the ZFSI will further extend the programme so that the officers become more effective and efficient.

He said the ZFSI will also have time for spouses training so that they know what is expected of them when they leave the country.

New Ziana

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