Lester B. Cooper and Hawa P. Dorley
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of Liberia which is the main nesting center for Liberian diplomats has reopened after over a year of inactivity. The FSI enrolled 50 students who will earn diplomatic training in array of fields from some of the best foreign policy experts in the country. Prominent among the FSI professors is the distinguished career serviceman George Wallace, former Foreign Minister of Liberia under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Coordinator and Officer in Charge of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) John Yormie disclosed to Employ Liberia that the Foreign Service Institute is the official training arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it provides researched support for the ministry.
He stated that the institution is in an act of training people across government agencies most especially those that are to serve as Foreign Service officers.
“In accordance with the law, those that are to serve as Foreign Service officers need to acquire Foreign Service training through the Foreign Service Institute in order to be eligible to serve as Foreign Service Officers” Yormie opined.
Mr. Yormie stated that any Liberian who passed through the bureaucracy of the FSI stands a chance to work at our foreign missions despite of him or her not being in the employ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The Institution has demands over time, and as a training institution, we fashion our curriculum based upon needs” said Yormie. Despite the closure for regular activities, the institution had to open its doors to the floodgate of protocol officers that needed training to serve the new administration.
He said the institution conducted two major protocol trainings for various functionaries of government across the country. Yormie said that the trainings made some significant advancement, as the pool of protocol officers trained have conducted themselves in line with the etiquette.
Yormie said the FSI is a post-graduate program that offers post-graduate diploma in Contemporary International Relations, and other interdisciplinary courses that include: Politics, Economics, Accounting, Law, and Liberian History.
In addition, Mr. Yormie explained the enrollment criteria as having a bachelor’s degree in any field to enroll at the institution. Applicants also take an aptitude test and submit to a thorough vetting process before being admitted to the institute.
The coordinator disclosed that the institution is trying to be on par with other Foreign Institutions abroad. “There have been series of memorandum of understanding signed, and our attentions have been drawn on the incorporation of the sense of research in development, he disclosed.
He said once everything yields fruitfully, the institution will solicit funds through the International Organizations, through our Embassies, and through our friendly and sisterly organizations to scale-up services.