Swedish Ambassador scoops Diplomat of the Year Award

Swedish Ambassador scoops Diplomat of the Year Award
April 07 09:11 2019

Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Sofia Calltorp, walked away with the Diplomat of the Year gong at the eighth edition of the Diplomat of the Year Awards held at Sango Conference Centre in Harare, recently.

The colourful event hosted by the Diplomacy Appreciation Trust and Diplomat Magazine attracted guests from the diplomatic community, UN Agencies, government, civic society and the corporate world. This Awards ran under the theme, “Equity, Equality and Development”

Speaking to the Sunday Mail the 2019 Diplomat of the Year, Mrs Sofia Calltorp dedicated her award to all the people of Sweden and the Swedish embassy in Zimbabwe.

“I feel extremely honoured and proud. The award is not only for me personally but for Sweden and the whole embassy.

I think the embassy of Sweden is trying all we can to promote good relationship between our countries and to contribute to the development work in Zimbabwe. So we are really honoured to receive this award,” said Mrs Calltorp.

Other diplomats who won awards on the night include; Mrs Barbara Van Hellemond of Netherlands and German Ambassador Dr Thornsten Hutter who won in the Diplomat of the Year from Europe category

The Diplomat of the Year from Africa Awards went to Mr Mawpanga Mwana Nanga of DRC and Mrs Balbina Piennar of Namibia.

Korean Ambassador Mr Cho Jai Chel, Indian Ambassador Mr Rungsung Masakui and Mr Amarjit Singh of Malaysia scooped awards in the Diplomat of the Year from Asia category

Diplomat of the Year Awards for the Middle East and the Mediterranean went to Mr Hakan Kivanc of Turkey and Ms Taghrid Senouar of Palestine.

Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and Africa Albida chief Executive, Mr Ross kennedy won the Outstanding Contribution to Diplomacy by Non-Diplomats awards.

Commenting on the selection criterion for this year’s edition of the Diplomat Awards, Diplomacy Appreciation Trust Chairperson, Mrs Anora Sibanda said, “Our  Nomination Committee looked at the diplomat’s performance in three areas: how well the ambassador represented his or her country; relations with other diplomats; and the ambassador’s impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.”

Sibanda said the winners are selected by a nomination committee chaired by Mr Vova Chikanda of the Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy which comprise representatives of the media, civic society and former diplomats.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mrs Prisca Mupfumira, who was represented by Mr Douglas Runyowa was the Guest of Honour. She paid tribute to the organisers of the event for successfully hosting the event for eight consecutive years.

“Allow me to express from the onset my sincere appreciation to the organizers of this event, which is aimed at bringing together diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe in recognition of their important role in the development of our country.

“The Diplomat of the Year Awards we have gathered for today were established in 2012 by the Diplomat Magazine. They the aim to celebrate the contribution of all diplomats accredited in Zimbabwe to the development of this great nation and its wonderful people. They undoubtedly create an essential platform, where diplomats regardless of their divergent views, interest and foreign policies celebrate in unison, as we honour outstanding envoys each year. Far away from being a mere contestation platform, the awards do create a networking platform for the diplomatic community, UN Agencies, International Organisations, Civic Society, Media and Captains of Industry,” said Mrs Mupfumira.

Expounding on the event’s theme Mrs Mupfumira said, “This year’s theme Equity, Equality and Development is in tandem with the national vision 2030, as outlined in the Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP), where emphasis is on inclusive economic growth, re-engagement with the international community and broad based citizenry participation in national and social economic development programmes. In this regard, all sectors of the economy are expected to play a central role in ensuring Equity, Equality and Development.”

She said in the tourism sector, government is encouraged by the positive performance witnessed since the advent of the Second Republic.

“In 2018, the country registered 2.5 million tourism arrivals a figure that has surpassed the peak levels reached in 1999. In 2018, the sector also generated $1.4 billion in tourism receipts. The country is experiencing strong results in all traditional overseas markets signalling a renewed interest in the destination. This success could not be possible without the support from your Excellences gathered here. I believe over the years you continue in linking our people together and sending positive messages of how Zimbabwe is a safe destination to visit,” she said

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