AU Diplomat to Address FSI Ambassadorial Lecture Forum

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Ambassador Harrison Oluwatoyin Solaja, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, is expected to serve as Guest Lecturer at the Ambassadorial Lecture Forum (ALF) of the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

The ALF, which is slated for Wednesday, August 26, at 3 p.m., will be held in the C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Solaja will be the sixth lecturer of the ALF, which was launched on January 3, 2010.

Ambassador Solaja, a Nigerian, born on November 25, 1956, is a 1980 graduate of the University of Ife. Among his rich list of credentials, the AU Diplomat served from 2005 to 2008 as Nigeria’s Minister Plenipotentiary at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., USA.

He also served as Chief of Protocol of his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from September 2009 to July 2011.

He assumed the position of Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission to Liberia and Sierra Leone on October 4, 2011.

In the first Ambassadorial Lecture Forum held in 2010, H.E. Chief Ojo Maduekwe, CFR, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, served as Guest Lecturer. That lecture recognized Ambassador Charles T. O. King, who served as Liberia’s first Ambassador to the then newly independent Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1961 to 1968.

The fifth ALF was held on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The Guest Lecturer was H.E. Masilo Esau Mabeta, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Liberia. That lecture recognized Ambassador Neh Rita Sangai Dukuly-Tolbert, former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, France, Spain and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, on the day of the sixth ALF, Ambassador E. Sumo Jones will be the honoree.

Among the honoree’s many credentials, including serving as Acting Head of State of Liberia for three days in October 1981, he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary accredited to the Republic of Guinea from 2007 to 2012. He had also served as Superintendent and Senator of Lofa County in the 1970s and early 1980. In September 1981, he served as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Forum highlights Liberia’s former ambassadors’ role and contribution to Liberian Diplomacy and Foreign Policy achievements and also presents an opportunity for lectures on topical diplomatic issues on the international agenda.

The outcome of the ALF will be a documentation of activities of Liberia Foreign Service officers, who have made immense contributions to Liberia’s Foreign Policy over the years.

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