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Excellency Paul Goa Zoumanigui
Guinean Ambassador returns to Keele
25 years after he graduated from SPIRE, his Excellency Paul Goa Zoumanigui returned as the ambassador of the Republic of Guinea to give a guest lecture on his role as a government adviser and tackling the Ebola crisis on an international level. Guinea was the first country where Ebola was identified in the outbreak which started in 2014, an outbreak which quickly raised concerns as a national security threat.
Mr Zoumanigui graduated with an MA in Diplomatic and International Studies from Keele University, 1991-1992, and spoke to current Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment (SPIRE) students about his career since leaving Keele University and the importance of global health diplomacy.
“I consider Keele as my home, it’s in my heart and I’d like to thank SPIRE and my former teacher Lorna Lloyd for welcoming me back.
“When I received the proposal to come and talk on a subject of my choice I decided on Ebola, a very topical important issue. During the Ebola crisis global health diplomacy was critical in foreign affairs and of great importance to the UN and foreign policy.
“This collaboration between countries and global communication was unprecedented and Ebola created the first UN mission for a world health response. From this experience practises have now emerged on how to tackle a health crisis on a global level.
“It is my hope this lecture will help inspire students in the pursuit of global health diplomacy.”
Mr Zoumanigui answered students’ and guests’ questions on his role in the crisis, stressing the importance and the challenges of international cooperation, but saying that he had never imagined that he would have to concentrate upon one health issue when he took up the role.
Mr Zoumanigui’s career in the diplomatic service has also included senior political positions at the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa in Gabon and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central Africa States; holding deputy ambassadorships in Canada and Guinea’s permanent mission to the UN in New York; and serving as Political and Diplomatic Adviser to Guinea’s Head of State.