Foreign Service Academy Signs MOU with UNIMAK

Thursday, 18 May, 2024

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications

 The Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Political Science & International Relations of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK).

The purpose of the MOU is to establish a framework for cooperation and collaboration between UNIMAK and FSA in the field of political science and International Relations; collaborate in joint research projects; exchange programs, information sharing, seminars, workshops, and other activities, part of the agreement reads.

“It signifies our shared commitments to excellence, innovation, and the advancement of education in our respective domains”, Foday Augustine Bangura, UNIMAK’s Registrar said Thursday. Bangura said  UNIMAK is dedicated to providing quality education that prepares students for global challenges and opportunities. Hence, the collaboration with the Foreign Service Academy aligned perfectly with their vision of internalization and academic enrichment. The Foreign Service Academy’s expertise in diplomatic training and international relations, he said, was highly commendable.

“Through this partnership, our students will have access to specialized programs, workshops, and resources that will enhance their understanding of global affairs and diplomacy… it is about building bridges of knowledge and understanding. It opens doors for academic exchanges, joint research, projects and collaborative initiatives, that will benefit both institutions and contribute to the development of our society”, Bangura said.

 

Ambassador Soulay Daramy, the Ag. Director General of the FSA recalled that since the institution kicked off nearly a year ago, they have signed several MOUs with international institutions, missions and foreign organizations. But he was excited to state that UNIMAK was the very first local institution of higher learning that the FSA was entering an MOU with particularly that the initiative came from the leadership of UNIMAK. To the ambassador, it showed that the FSA had a position of relevance in society. “Over the years we have seen the records, the academic standing of UNIMAK; we’ve seen the percentage and quality of products that come from UNIMAK. We want this academy to be able to provide the advantage position for people of those sorts”, he said.

The ambassador said he was hopeful that the partnership with UNIMAK would provide students of UNIMAK’s Department of Political Science and International Relations the upskilling, polishing and professional training they will require to make them become good foreign service officers.

He encouraged other universities or academic institutions to partner with the FSA.

Ambassador Daramy said the FSA was not a primarily an academic institution. It is a skills-based institution backed by academic qualifications. He said the Foreign Service Academy was established primarily to train and upskill Foreign Service officers in the country and to provide training facilities and opportunities for Sierra Leonean diplomats or people who wish to have any activities in the international space.

But those were just the rudiments, Ambassador Daramy said. When in full swing, the academy will have something for everybody since the facility was equipped to offer so much more including the teaching of international languages. For now, the academy offers training in French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic and is developing an e-library in addition to several other resource materials already available at its resource centre.

 

“We are going to have a lot of seminars, lots of workshops. Particularly, we are going to have topical master classes – classes that will involve public speaking, dining properly, dress etiquettes, general protocol and the behaviour of people in public spaces. These will be essential for the upcoming students we produce?, he clarified. He said students from UNIMAK in the political science department who wish to pursue careers in diplomacy stood to benefit a lot from the array of learning opportunities the FSA will be providing in the future.

For now, the FSA offers Basic, intermediate and advanced level courses in diplomacy in addition to lessons in Arabic, Russian and Chinese.