Report on the 1st Executive Seminar for Diplomats on Sustainable Economy by Mama Drammeh (Gambia)

I was privileged to be selected as a participant in the 1st Executive Seminar for Diplomats on Sustainable Economy in Berlin. The programme, which focused on Germany’s transition to a sustainable economy, introduced us to leading German businesses and how they are increasingly embracing the health of the environment and people as part of their sustainable business growth strategies.


The seminar was very informative and insightful, and touched on various pillars of economic growth. It was an intellectually fascinating experience that enabled us to delve into discussions on a wide range of topics and policy issues: German climate policy, sustainability in the economy and trade, reinsurance and auto mobility, among others. These topics made the programme thought-provoking and enabled us to interact with senior government officials, private sector professionals and diplomats from the 17 participating countries.


We were able to meet experts in prominent political roles in every city we visited and learn more about how the German Government operates at local, regional and national level. The field visits to leading German companies, notably Knauf, BMW and Volkswagen, gave us the opportunity to learn about their respective ways towards net zero, which requires the transformation of heavy industry, the petro-chemical sector, long distance transportation, automotive and construction industries. These are sectors that we rely on and that are crucial to economic growth, and they are the ones that really need to be decarbonised.


The highlight for me was the negotiation training. It was practical yet informative and exciting. Negotiation is one of the key skills for science diplomacy at both bilateral and multilateral level. As a young diplomat, I believe the skills acquired during the training will help me gain a foothold in my diplomatic career. Thus, they will also help me to provide administrative support to my country and to foster its collaboration with other countries and international organisations in promoting sustainable growth as well as a peaceful and secure world in which African actors can also address climate change and related challenges facing the continent. I therefore commend the Federal Foreign Office for organising this training and choosing this very important topic for the seminar.


Additionally, I could not conclude without acknowledging the generous assistance received from colleagues and programme coordinators in taking care of my 9 month-old baby. I could not have successfully participated in the programme without the support from the team, and for that, I shall forever be grateful.


Finally, on behalf of the group of diplomats from Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the amazing work of Thomas Neisinger, Ambassador (ret.) and his team. The endless time they invested in this project, and the professionalism and dedication they showed, impressed all the participants. Thank you once again for your efforts.