Australia - Africa Regional Diplomatic Training Initiative
The Australian High Commissioner, Ann Harrap hosted a function on Monday 4 June to launch the 2012 Regional Diplomacy Training Initiative, taking place in Pretoria.
The initiative seeks to develop the skills of the participants as diplomats and enhance the capacity of their home agencies upon their return. Participating countries this year include Angola, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo, Togo, Central African Republic, Mauritania, the DRC, Niger, Djibouti, Cape Verde, Burundi, Sao Tome & Principe, Guinea, the Comores, and Chad.
In 2011 the Australian Government set up the Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF) to provide short term technical support to development requests from African partner governments and institutions in niche areas where Australia has expertise. It is managed by the Australian Government’s overseas development agency, AusAID, in close cooperation with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The AAPF works particularly in mining sector governance, food security and agriculture and public policy.
In response to frequent requests from African Governments, Australia delivered a series of successful and high-profile Diplomatic Training Courses under the AAFP’s public policy pillar during 2011. Following this success, and as a response to ongoing requests, this training is being offered again in 2012 for staff of African Foreign Service agencies.
Training is delivered by a consortium of UniQuest (from Australia’s University of Queensland), University of Pretoria and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra. All delivery partners have strong reputations for the delivery of quality tertiary-level and adult education programs in diplomacy and international relations.
The course is delivered using an effective adult learning approach that provides participants with a range of tools that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their Foreign Service practice. Classes draw on, and enhance participant's existing skills in the areas of leadership, communications, and in policy making and delivery for diplomatic contexts.
Content is tailored to meet the needs of individual participant country groups from the following topic areas: the history of diplomacy; international relations, world politics and modern diplomacy; international law; official operating environments; transnational security challenges; conflict resolution and negotiation; human rights; consular and crisis management; development assistance; protocol; representational skills; public diplomacy and media management; presentation skills and speech writing; cable and report writing; and information security.
Discussion is favoured over lectures and presentations are made by Australian and African academics, as well as by guest practitioners - particularly those with senior policy experience in Africa.