Capacity Development Programme for Namibia’s Diplomacy

Capacity Development Programme for Namibia’s Diplomacy

Reference Number: 07012022, Press Release Issue Date: Jan 07, 2022
Today, the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs of Malta and the Ministry of International ​Relations and Cooperation of Namibia, in partnership with Diplo Foundation, commenced a virtual course on digital diplomacy for Namibian diplomats and officials. The course aligns with the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs’ mandate to increase the number of qualified specialists to ensure a smooth transition to digital diplomacy, as part of Malta’s newly launched foreign policy strategy.

Addressing participants virtually, Minister Bartolo stated, “Diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy is being transformed by the development of digital technology. The availability of information is no longer our issue today, it is just one-click away. Rather, the issue is how we use it as a tool and how we manage the opportunities and the challenges that it presents.’’

Minister Bartolo underlined four areas where digital diplomacy can be used as a force for good. Digital diplomacy must be used to spread the message of peace, to ensure that social media and online platforms can contribute to the fight against violent extremism and terrorism. Second, digital diplomacy is a tool for economic cooperation and increasing growth. Digital diplomacy is also a tool to protect a country’s citizens and interests abroad. Finally, diplomacy is a tool for development. Providing internet access to all citizens and eliminating digital divide is key to ensure that no one is left behind. Minister Bartolo added that if Malta is elected on the United Nations Security Council in 2023, our priority will be to focus on digital literacy to enhance social cohesion by empowering people with the skills needed.

The course will discuss digital diplomacy from three perspectives:
  • how countries can advance their interest in digital geopolitics and geoeconomics
  • how diplomatic services can negotiate new digital topics such as cybersecurity and e-commerce in multilateral and bilateral negotiations
  • how ministries of foreign affairs can make use of new digital tools such as social media, online conferencing, data, and artificial intelligence. 

The capacity development programme comes on the 25th anniversary of the first joint activity of between Malta and Namibia. In 1996 Diplo Foundation delivered the first training on digitalisation and diplomacy for Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia. To date, 72 Namibian diplomats and officials have attended Diplo Foundation’s training courses.

Minister Evarist Bartolo during the virtual course. 
Minister Bartolo participating in the video conference.