Bianca Leboho Herald Reporter
Citizens have a key role to play in building mutual relationships between countries, founder of the Diplomat of the Year Awards has said.
Speaking during a briefing on preparations for the 5th edition of the Diplomat of the Year awards to be held on March 4, Mr Reginald Chapfunga said citizens’ relationships played a key role in fostering mutual benefits amongst countries.
Unlike traditional diplomacy which was a prerogative of the state, citizen diplomacy was now instrumental in uniting nations, he said.
People to people relationships through business, education, arts, sports, and other social interactions have helped nations to fully understand and appreciate each other, impacting positively on their ability to resolve differences and shared challenges.
He said citizens of Zimbabwe could play a major part in promoting co-operation and integration between the country and other nations by appreciating the work of diplomats accredited here.
Mr Chapfunga said every year since 2012 they had been honouring outstanding envoys and celebrating the work of all diplomats based in Zimbabwe.
“This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Diplomat of the Year Awards. Established in 2011 with the inaugural edition held in January 2012, the awards celebrate the contribution of all diplomats in Zimbabwe to the development of the country and its people and also honour outstanding envoys each year,” said Mr Chapfunga.
“This is a rare event where diplomats regardless of their divergent political views, interest and foreign policies, celebrate in unison.
“It is also a social event where the diplomatic community meets captains of industry and exchange ideas and ideals. In a way, Diplomat Awards contribute to world peace and tolerance of divergent views,” said Mr Chapfunga.