Responsible public Governance : an authentic and universal alternative for more efficient human and ethical public services
Dr. Stéphane Monney Mouandjo GD. CAFRAD Yaoundé May 2017
Conference of Diplomatic Career Training Schools and Institutes

Introduction:

Formerly central in the construction of African States and their progressive existence in the world as sovereign States, the African integration has been and continues to be one of the major concerns of the advocates of a more effective Africa while it appears to others as a condition precedent for the emergence of a stronger Africa in the game of the international relations.

The debate between presence and effectiveness of the African Diplomatic Action in the concert of nations remains as such valid. In fact, since independence, various approaches have been considered with the view to building African strategies not only of presence but also of effectiveness of its action both in the geographical space it occupies and beyond that perimeter, to make its voice heard in a world of constant and perpetual dynamism.

The creation of politically oriented groups such as the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) to which should be added a variety of other groupings, demonstrate the importance of this dynamism.

Moreover, the current changes in the international order and the renewed interest for Africa, including the gradual emergence of a new awakening of the African consciousness, invite us to imagine various tracks and spaces of debates.

One of the themes of this reflection can as such be what the traditions and speech called 'Education which necessarily passes through school'. This is a place where the art and the culture of meeting the other are taught, the self-learning and the learning of oneself as much as of others. This is a symbolic place where one also appreciates his/her responsibility towards the State of which he/she is a citizen and potentially the representative on various occasions. This place of learning of who we are and how we present ourselves and represent others is, in fact, also the space in which we build a more official form of valorization and self-defense with others and ourselves in a space of power and preservation of a certain number of interests.

The school becomes thus this temple of knowledge but more so the place of learning the relation to the public good, to the State, to its promotion and to its defense; to the learning of its valorization through a set of codes, rules, knowledge of know-how and know-being.

It is precisely about diplomatic career training schools and institutes, whose role is to prepare young and/or less young leaders to play the complex and fascinating role of representatives of the State or States, other than within the geographical perimeter of its country of origin.

Vast field in which the logics of the interdependence of actors henceforth no longer conceal except with difficulty the reality of power relations which so often inflects the only arguments based on ethical or political rationalities, though often opportunely or opportunistically invoked to support actions determined by complex purposes.

The emergence of the various and sometimes violent dynamics of actions, constructed and nurtured by actors of a new type, the gradual awakening of a renewed African consciousness, the development of increasingly transversal problems, coupled with the construction of a new type of relationship of Africa with the world, advocate a re-interrogation of certain strategies adopted hitherto. They invite us, above all, to the initiation of a reflection on the reorientation of certain training structures to the international life.

While it is true that Africa remains a space of great diversity and of variety of challenges, it cannot be denied it has a certain common destiny. It seems, therefore, imperative for it to gather around the great subjects that engage it and for which its voice must necessarily be heard in a world that is so far less and less indifferent to it.

This renewed interest in Africa and the paradoxical survival of certain problems campaign in favor of the construction of a new African elite capable of carrying strongly its current concerns and of anticipating the possible future problems. This necessary process requires a rational, rigorous, integrated and concerted approach. A process that ensures the development of a new, different and sufficiently mobilizing thought at the service of what is called "development"

But to do this, it must know its motivation; have both the intellectual and cultural resources, sufficiently impregnated with the reality of the world and its mutations. It must be part of a strategy that is rigorously constructed and based on an understanding of what is at stake now in which Africa must take its real pride of place.

Problems of security and human security, environmental issues and the gradual transformations of the logics of governance such as environmental concerns, cannot be taken in the wrong way. Diplomatic career training schools and institutes must, in this, identify with "sustainable development".

These modern and contemporary concerns lead, in fact, to the belief that the world is moving towards a kind of transcontinental solidarity simultaneously that it seems paradoxical to exacerbate split lines around the claim of some specific policy issues.

It is in this context that the question arises as to how diplomatic career training schools and institutes could accompany the African strategies for the construction of sustainable development.

These necessary questions will make it possible in particular to better understand the challenges of the day and brace up to better face both the current and future challenges of a world in which the African continent appears often and unfortunately to play only a marginal role.

Justification:

This meeting is justified by the dynamics currently underway on the continent and in line with a better coordination of training and integration strategies of African elite. It is also justified by the fact that our continent seems to be the only political space in which the dynamics of diplomatic career training remain quite diversified and where the training programs as well as the sharing and exchange spaces amongst active and or future diplomats are unfortunately rare, if not totally non-existent. Moreover, this conference responds to a program initiated by CAFRAD and its partners in order to support and strengthen the dynamics of African integration through meeting programs on themes of shared interest. It is also intended to build bridges that should lead to more integrated strategies in order to redefine and further strengthen the positioning of Africa through elites better trained to appreciate the current dynamics of the world. Finally, it falls within the determination to build among African States new gateways and spaces for dialogues that will eventually foster a concerted approach to all issues relating to Africa and its inception around the world.

Expected results:

Amongst the expected results are:

  1. The institutionalization, on a continental scale, of a dialogue of diplomatic career training schools and institutes;
  2. The establishment of a platform for training and exchange program of students in training in diplomatic career training schools and institutes;
  3. The establishment of pan-African Exchange programs of teachers of diplomatic career training schools and institutes;
  4. The implementation of harmonized training programs on a continental scale;
  5. The establishment, under the CAFRAD aegis, of an annual pan-African conference of diplomatic career training schools and institutes whose presidency will be rotational and whose proceedings will be held in the country where the President will be a national; and
  6. The establishment, at the continental level, of a pan-African forum of the young diplomat.

Topics for discussion:

Inaugural lesson: the central role and the importance of an effective African diplomacy in the regional integration strategy and in the effort to reposition Africa in the concert of nations;

  1. Current developments in diplomatic careers training in Africa in the light of the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  2. The cultural and cyclical historical determinants of diplomatic career training in Africa;
  3. The African issue in the diplomatic career training discourse and strategy in Africa;
  4. Diplomacy in Africa: unity, diversity, complexity and opportunity in a globalized world;
  5. Issues and challenges in harmonizing the diplomatic career trainings and processes in the light of the SDG;
  6. The idea of an “African diplomacy” at a time of great international upheavals.

Target audience:

This conference is intended primarily for the personnel of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of External Relations (howsoever called), Ministries in charge of Internal and External Security, African Agencies for Economic and Cultural Cooperation of African countries, Embassies, Diplomatic Studies Institutes and Strategic Studies Institutes.

Methodology:

The proceedings will be conducted in plenary session. They will be led by resource persons with a long experience. These resource persons will introduce the presentations and lead discussions. These will give rise to proposals that will be subject of a report which will be presented with recommendations and action plans. The presentations and the report will later be published.