The ‘establishment of a School of higher learning to anchor the study of Diplomacy and International Relations has become imperative for Ethiopia, one of the oldest nation states in the world and probably the only one in that highly regarded group of nations without such an institution. The increasingly complex nature of contemporary international relations has turned Diplomacy into a modern technical tool masterly utilised by well grounded professionals in the numerous fields now covered in international relations. In countries endowed with such institutions, the intellectual background and experience of such professionals are constantly upgraded at home at a relatively lower cost than abroad. Although attending diplomatic courses abroad has the added advantage of offering diplomats the exposure needed to appreciate global issues from different perspectives, the need for such an institution in Ethiopia cannot be over-emphasised.
The place of pride Ethiopia has occupied in international relations and diplomacy since time immemorial, has, in turn, occasioned over the years, a steady growth in the staffing strength of its Foreign Ministry. Such a positive development necessarily requires the establishment of a highly specialised school that can regularly train, at a relatively reasonable cost, a higher number of officials of the Ministry who have adequate qualifications to undertake the prescribed courses at that level.
The establishment of SDIR by ECSU is designed to leverage Ethiopia’s capacity building in diplomacy and international relations through best practices and in the process, produce more practitioners highly schooled in Diplomacy as well as meet Ethiopia’s development aspirations. The SDIR offers a two-year masters programme (MA) in Diplomacy and International Relations. In the first year, modules covering the broad areas in Diplomacy in particular and International Relations in general, as well as Ethiopia’s specific interests and approach in those two areas, shall be taught. The first semester of the second year shall be dedicated to internship for the students in relevant places of work, including the Foreign Ministry itself and some international organisations represented in Addis Ababa. Students shall be required, in the ensuing semester, to prepare a report on the internship as well as submit and defend a thesis under the supervision of a member of the School’s Faculty.
The program aims at developing the skills of Foreign Service officers to better appreciate the dynamics of modern diplomatic practice. The modules shall be carefully crafted and delivered by experts and professionals from various fields of endeavour. A systems approach shall be adopted in line with continuous learning philosophy which characterizes the globalization phenomenon. The program also envisages extensive collaboration with key stakeholders including similar academic institutions. The overall goal of the program is to provide participants with requisite knowledge and skills with a view to enhancing their capacity to:
- serve the country as competent diplomats;
- proffer advice on contemporary diplomacy and international issues;
- negotiate effectively at international meetings; and
- meet the foreign policy requirements of Ethiopia.
Exit Level Outcomes
After completing the study program, the graduate is able to:
- Analyse the concepts, theories, and approaches in contemporary diplomacy and international relations in light of contemporary global and regional issues, foreign policies and strategies, and diplomatic communications and documents
- Respect principles and rules governing inter-state relations, international organizations, and African inter-state organizations
- Consolidate Ethiopia’s international and regional image in close keeping with its core values and national interests;
- Carry out international negotiations with skill and confidence;
- Competently advice diplomatic initiatives in line with the country’s foreign policy and national security priorities;
- Apply the appropriate diplomatic procedures in the discharge of the official functions;
- Solve problems in international crisis situations with confidence.