USIU-Africa International Relations students master etiquette and protocol in preparation for simulation exercise

By Caleb Mukhwana

As the Spring 2024 semester unfolds at USIU-Africa, students from the International Relations Department have embarked on an enlightening journey of connecting theory and practice through experiential learning. Traditionally, USIU-Africa provides opportunity for the International Relations (IR) students to conduct mock global engagements under different themes. These simulated summits emulate real conventions which seek solutions to address actual challenges in the contemporary world. The immersive experience not only equips students with essential skills for diplomatic engagement but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of international relations. As they prepare to step onto the global stage, the Simulation Class exemplifies USIU-Africa's commitment to nurturing future leaders adept in navigating the complexities of a rapidly evolving world.

This semester, the simulation class is modelling is modelling an African Union summit under the CAHOSSC committee. The conference is themed around Climate Change and the delegates will be deliberating on creating a sustainable future in Africa through climate-smart development programs. The exercise will take place on March 22-23, 2024, and it is expected to be graced by high profile members of the diplomatic corps as well as officers from the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora affairs. Apart from the USIU-Africa International Relations students, the event organizers have invited other students and faculty from various universities and schools in the country.

As a gear up to the main event, the Simulation Class, delved into the nuances of diplomatic dining etiquette and protocol. The sessions were led by distinguished facilitators, Dr. Mary Mutisya from the Chandaria School of Business as well as Mr. Irungu J. Macharia, a State Protocol Officer from the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. It was both enlightening and joyous as the class ventured into uncharted territories of formal decorum and international diplomacy. Dr. Mary Mutisya, renowned for her expertise in business etiquette, spearheaded sessions focusing on dining etiquette and business protocol. Meanwhile, Mr. Macharia guided students through the intricate realm of diplomatic protocol.

The culmination of this rigorous training was marked by a real-life diplomatic lunch setup, where students had the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge firsthand. Against the backdrop of formal ambiance, students practiced the art of using cutlery gracefully and conducting themselves with poise during formal dinners.

The experiential learning provided a platform for students to grasp the subtleties of diplomatic interactions, emphasizing the significance of cultural sensitivity and diplomatic finesse in international affairs. Through role-playing scenarios and practical exercises, students honed their abilities to navigate complex diplomatic landscapes, setting the stage for the upcoming simulation exercise.

The upcoming simulation exercise will cast students into the roles of delegates at an African Union summit addressing the pressing issue of climate change. Armed with a deeper understanding of dining etiquette, business protocol, and diplomatic decorum, students are poised to make meaningful contributions to the discourse surrounding global challenges.

In the spirit of diplomatic camaraderie and academic excellence, the Simulation Class emerges as a beacon of innovation and collaboration, embodying the essence of USIU-Africa's dynamic learning community. With each lesson learned and each protocol mastered, students pave the way for a brighter, more interconnected future, one diplomatic encounter at a time.

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