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A diplomat for a new era: Why Mamadou Tangara is the Commonwealth’s future

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By Cable News International, Bangladesh

The Commonwealth stands at a crossroads. With growing internal complexities and an ever-changing global landscape, the need for a visionary and experienced leader at its helm has never been greater. Among the esteemed candidates vying for the position of secretary general, Dr Mamadou Tangara stands out as a beacon of hope, his qualifications and experience presenting a compelling case for his leadership of one of the world’s largest intergovernmental organisations.

Dr  Tangara’s career is a testament to his dedication to diplomacy and multilateralism. As The Gambia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, he navigated complex international relations with grace and strategic acumen under different governments. His successful tenure saw The Gambia rejoin the Commonwealth after a two-year withdrawal, demonstrating his ability to bridge divides and foster consensus.

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As the Commonwealth of Nations debates his future he could be an important consensus candidate whose appointment would be historic. There has never been a Muslim secretary general of the Commonwealth, ever!

Furthermore, his role as The Gambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations solidified his understanding of global challenges and his commitment to collaborative solutions. His annual attendance at this gathering is distinguished by his often powerful speeches. He is one of the most charismatic diplomats of the moment – a vital skill which will surely serve him well at Marlborough House.

Dr Tangara’s unwavering commitment to good governance and human rights shines through his extensive work in these areas. He played a pivotal role in The Gambia’s democratic transition, spearheading crucial reforms and advocating for transparency and accountability. His vocal advocacy for human rights extends beyond national borders, as evidenced by his strong stance against human rights abuses and his dedication to promoting inclusivity and equality within the Commonwealth. Though Gambia is a small state, his work is an example other Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia and beyond can follow. 

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As a native of The Gambia, Dr Tangara brings a unique perspective to the Commonwealth leadership table. There has only been one other African secretary general (Emeka Anyaoku from Nigeria) and his appointment would speak volumes to the commitment of the organisation to inclusivity.

His deep understanding of African dynamics and challenges, coupled with his extensive experience on the global stage, positions him as an ideal bridge between the Commonwealth’s diverse member states. He possesses the cultural sensitivity and communication skills necessary to foster unity and understanding within a vast and multifaceted organization. Dr Tangara’s leadership extends beyond grand visions and strategic plans. He possesses a genuine empathy for the most vulnerable within the Commonwealth, particularly the small island developing states (SIDS) and other nations facing unique challenges. His commitment to addressing their specific needs and concerns, be it climate change or economic vulnerability, ensures that no member state is left behind.

Not to mention he is fluent in several languages.

Tangara’s vision for the Commonwealth is grounded in pragmatism and innovation. He recognises the need for the organisation to adapt to the evolving global landscape, focusing on key areas like sustainable development, youth empowerment, and technological advancement. His commitment to promoting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment, coupled with his focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, demonstrates his understanding of the critical challenges facing member states.

Dr Mamadou Tangara is not just a qualified candidate for the position of Commonwealth secretary general; he is the embodiment of the values and aspirations the organisation strives to uphold.

By choosing Dr Tangara, the Commonwealth chooses a future defined by unity progress, and a relentless pursuit of a better tomorrow for all its member states. He hasn’t announced his candidacy yet but, he isn’t waiting for the Commonwealth job. The Commonwealth is waiting for him.

CNI is one of Bangladesh’s leading news organisations.

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