Greenwich Mean Time Zone UTC+00:00
Capital City Conakry
Currency Guinean franc
National Day 2 Oct
His Excellency Mr Paul Goa Zoumanigui arrived in London in November last year, presenting Credentials to Her Majesty on 11 March 2014. Since his arrival, His Excellency has engaged in several cooperation activities between his country and countries of his jurisdiction: the UK, Ireland and Iceland. Mr Zoumanigui returns to the UK where he’s seen “a lot of change” since he completed his Masters in Diplomatic and International Studies at the University of Keele (1991-92.)
Mr Zoumanigui’s career began as a Desk Officer at his Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986, where he swiftly climbed the ladder to Chief of Official Visits in 1995. The following year he became Guinea’s Deputy Ambassador in Canada, followed by a long stint at in New York (1996-2009), where he was appointed to Guinea’s Permanent Mission at the UN. Firstly, he was Counsellor in charge of social, cultural and humanitarian affairs, and then reassigned to political duties dealing with disarmament and peacekeeping affairs. “Guinea was able to deploy many military and police officers,” he explains, “becoming the fourteenth troop contributor country in 2000.”
While Guinea was a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council (2002-03), Mr Zoumanigui participated enormously in the Council’s work, even taking part in a field mission to Kosovo and former Yugoslavia. While working with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other UN bodies – particularly in the field of development – Mr Zoumanigui did his utmost to raise important issues for the international community, and for Africa in particular. In this regard, he made substantial contributions to the work of the UNDP and UNICEF executive boards, becoming Vice-President of UNICEF in 2001, representing Africa. In 2008, Mr Zoumanigui became Guinea’s Minister Counsellor and Deputy Ambassador at the Permanent Mission.
The following year, Mr Zoumanigui received a call congratulating him on his new appointment as Political and Diplomatic Advisor to the Republic of Guinea’s Head of State. Despite difficulties encountered in implementing their duties, the team of advisors did their best for the interests of the country. “The position was my national duty,” he says. Following the shooting of President Moussa Dadis Camara, Guinea went into a transitional process. “It was a difficult and complex situation and we learnt many lessons for the future,” he recalls.
Mr Zoumanigui was then posted to the UN Department of Political Affairs in the Africa II Division. Sent to Gabon with the task of working with and strengthening cooperation between the UN and the Economic Community of Central African States, he also sought ways to open the UN Regional Office for Central African Sub-Region. In December 2012, when the crisis started in the Central African Republic (CAR), he was appointed to the Central Africa UN Peacebuilding Office. Attempting to find a solution to the crisis, he worked to push the Libreville Agreements into effect. “Unfortunately,” he explains, “CAR’s stakeholders did not fully implement the agreements, resulting in today’s situation in the country.” Now as Ambassador in London, he’s working hard to ensure the embassy is working as efficiently as possible, even temporarily moving its location from NW6 to WI to achieve this. “We also need to improve Guinea’s relations with our host country and the nations where I am accredited,” says Mr Zoumanigui. He is keen to establish and strengthen cooperation with institutions in every sectors of interest that can benefit his country.
The Ambassador believes that the political and economic environment in his country are factors that should encourage and ensure partners come and invest in Guinea. In this regard, he says, the democratic election of President Alpha Conde in November 2010 and the seating of the National Assembly in January 2014 are of great importance. The Mining Code review and the new ‘One Stop Shop’ to help establish new business in Guinea are, amongst others, “factors that continue to encourage investment in the country, which is well endowed with natural resources such as bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, etc.”
On a personal level, Mr Zoumanigui places great importance on humanitarian issues. Accordingly, he emphasises the importance of his faith in his day-to-day activities, but also does his best to live a successful life. But despite all challenges, the strength of his career experience and faith will undoubtedly lead to success in his latest appointment.