JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Foreign Service Officer, Kavoy Ashley, has embarked on another career-enriching journey, as he is currently in the Republic of Chile pursuing a three-month Diplomatic Training Programme.
  • The course will include History, Economics, Multilateral Affairs, Latin American and Foreign Policy and Human Rights. He will also be assigned to work in different departments at the offices of the Chilean Foreign Affairs Ministry.
  • Mr. Ashley tells JIS News that he welcomes the opportunity to study in Chile and anticipates he will benefit greatly from the experience.

Foreign Service Officer, Kavoy Ashley, has embarked on another career-enriching journey, as he is currently in the Republic of Chile pursuing a three-month Diplomatic Training Programme.

Mr. Ashley, who is attached to the Caribbean-American Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, is among 22 young diplomats from around the world to be awarded full scholarships by the Government of Chile to study at the Andrés Bello Diplomatic Academy over the next three months. He departed Jamaica two weeks ago to take up the offer.

The course will include History, Economics, Multilateral Affairs, Latin American and Foreign Policy and Human Rights. He will also be assigned to work in different departments at the offices of the Chilean Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Established in 1954, the Andrés Bello Diplomatic Academy has contributed to the education of diplomats from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Candidates for the institute’s Diplomatic Training Programme must be nominated by their country’s foreign affairs ministry. They should fill out an application form and submit this to the Chilean Embassy in the respective countries.

Participants should be in their late 20s or early 30s and must have an appropriate knowledge of Spanish, as the course is conducted in that language.

At age 23, Mr. Ashley is Jamaica’s youngest Foreign Service Officer. His duties include contributing to the formulation and monitoring of Jamaica’s foreign policy and analysing its relations with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Latin American countries.

He also monitors Jamaica’s involvement with regional organisations, specifically the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), as part of the process of enhancing the benefits to be derived from the country’s membership.

Mr. Ashley tells JIS News that he welcomes the opportunity to study in Chile and anticipates he will benefit greatly from the experience.

“I am excited. What I believe I will achieve from this course is a better understanding of Latin American culture and foreign policy, thus enabling me to better carry out my duties at the Ministry,” he says.

Mr. Ashley believes the programme will also help to further improve his fluency in Spanish.

Even as he pursues training in Chile, Mr. Ashley will continue an online Tri-lingual Master’s Degree in European and International Studies at the Jean-François Champollion University, which he commenced in June this year.

His enrolment is historic, as he is the first Jamaican to pursue the programme, which is taught in three languages.

Asked how he will manage both programmes that will be conducted concurrently, Mr. Ashley points out that “I have had to develop some good time management skills”.

“It is very difficult, as you can imagine, because I have a full-time job and this is a full-time degree. It is difficult, but you (have to) find the time for the things that matter in life,” he emphasises.

During a recent meeting at the Embassy of Chile in New Kingston, ahead of his departure, Mr. Ashley expressed appreciation to Chilean Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Eduardo Bonilla, and Consul of Chile, Maximiliano Jara, for the opportunity to participate in the training programme.

“Jamaica and Chile share strong diplomatic relations and I am happy to have been able to benefit from the fruits of these relations. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and just being the best representative that I can be,” he said.

Ambassador Bonilla said Mr. Ashley’s interaction with fellow diplomats from other countries would go a far way in “creating links that will be useful throughout his Foreign Service career”.

“So you will have a chance to talk about your country and to hear about the developments regarding your colleagues from the rest of the world,” he added.

Mr. Jara said the training is one of the many educational cooperation programmes offered by the Chilean Government to Caribbean countries.

He said the Government has been offering scholarships and courses to Jamaican nationals in areas such as language training, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, national security and diplomacy.

“We believe that education is a very important tool in order to defeat poverty and for the development of the countries. So we focus on education cooperation towards the Caribbean,” he said.

Mr. Jara said other programmes which form part of the Chile-Jamaica Cooperation Framework, include National Disaster Prevention, Economic Development, Social Development and Defence.
Jamaica and the Republic of Chile have enjoyed fruitful relations since establishing diplomatic ties in 1963.