Out of the box thinking African ambassadors

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WINDHOEK – “We are just not run of the mill diplomats coming to do diplomatic work, we can go outside the box and do even better work,” said the Ghanaian High Commissioner to Namibia, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, on the fundraising drive that a group of 13 African high commissioners and ambassadors in Namibia have put together to raise money for various charity causes in the country.

For the African diplomats though, the fundraising drive is also an ideal platform to advance discussions on transportation and aviation, a theme that the African Union has adopted for its agenda for 2063. “Transportation is absolutely essential in the AU Agenda 2063, we selected aviation as the theme which is crucial in the development of our continent. Luckily for us three of our main stakeholders are from the aviation industry, we invited them to give us their vision as to how to be part of the initiative to bring Africans closer in terms of movement of people and goods,” said Attah who heads the group’s fundraising initiative.
Africa, he says, is a vast continent and “if Africans are to be able to knit themselves together into a viable working economic entity, Africans should be able to move about very easily, Africans should be able to exchange ideas and move goods about easily.”
When New Era interviewed Attah this week, the group had just raised N$30 000 in about two hours at a local hotel in Windhoek. It is not the first time that African high commissioners and ambassador embark on a fundraising drive for charity, only this time they have decided to publicise their efforts in hope of raising more funds. Support from the corporate institutions is also higher this year with Air Namibia, South African Airways, TAAG Angola Airlines, Standard Bank, Protea Hotel coming on board as corporate partners. New Era Publication Corporation, together with public broadcaster, the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation availed themselves as media partners.
Attah encourages African aviation to work towards strategies to develop and market their flying routes within the continent, saying, “once there is movement trade also flows.” He also mentioned the effective and efficient coach systems such as railway and buses that are affordable in Europe as in African tickets tend to be very expensive, making it difficult for Africans to travel within the continent.
The 13 African group of ambassadors and high commissioners are for Angola, Algeria, Botswana, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Their charity drive aims at helping support local authorities in furthering education of young people from various regions, while they have also raised funds towards the emergency drought relief fund.