What a great start to the year it has been. Life in Delhi has been amazing and filled with many cool opportunities. And before we knew it six months have passed.
Through his role as Ambassador, Yeah has had many wonderful opportunities to meet with many government and business leaders here in India. He has focused his efforts on raising Mali’s profile in India and the other 9 countries in his jurisdiction. In just the last few months, he has presented credentials in Brunei, Singapore and most recently in Indonesia. In all of his travels, he has had a chance to exchange with the presidents of Singapore and Indonesia and the Sultan of Brunei about Mali and how a relationship would be beneficial for both countries.
On Thursday, November 12, 2015, Yeah presented his credentials to the Sultan of Brunei, His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Wad’daulah. This is the first for the Republic of Mali to have one of its individuals fully recognized in Brunei.
On December 23, 2015, Yeah presented his credentials to the President of Singapore His Excellency Tony Tan Keng in addition to paying a courtesy visit to the Minister of Transport of Singapore H.E. Khaw Beon WAN
On February 3, 2016, Yeah presented his credentials to the Head of State His Excellency President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
While he was in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei he also met with the Malian community in these areas which allowed him to better understand their needs and what he can do to better support them. In these countries, he also met with the local business leaders and entrepreneurs. With these groups his goal was to discuss ways to grow business relations between business people in Mali and those in the respective countries.
In addition, Yeah has made trips to different areas within India to help grow the educational opportunities for our Malian students as well as searching for agricultural/industrial opportunities. Last month, Yeah flew to Rajasthan where he had an opportunity to meet with Bunker Roy from Barefoot College regarding creating increased solar opportunities in rural Mali. Just last week he was in Tirupur ( in the South) to meet with entrepreneurs in pursuit of increasing their access to cheaper good quality cotton produced in Mali.
Another thing that Yeah has been involved in is Mali’s role in the International Solar Alliance, a project spear headed by Indian PM Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande to promote solar energy and ultimately fight climate change while providing clean energy to millions of people.
On the 26th of January, we also had an opportunity to attend the Republic Day parade and tea at the Presidential Palace. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate India’s Republic Day and also exchange with Ambassadors from the 150+ embassies here in New Delhi. The parade was also amazing and featured India’s undeniable strength, its diverse armed forces and varied culture.
I, too, have been able to meet with the spouses of other Ambassadors. I have learned much from this group of strong ladies. In December of last year we had an opportunity to fundraise for a local charity here in Delhi and help make an impact for the orphaned children of Delhi. In addition, this year I will serve as the Executive Secretary of the international Spouses of Heads of Mission, which allows me to shine a brighter spotlight on Mali’s rich culture and all that she can offer. I am excited for all these new responsibilities.
As we come up on completion of our first 6 months, I am very grateful and blessed that we have this opportunity to move Mali forward in a different way. Each day we have the chance to create fresh opportunities for Malian students and businesses. We will continue pushing onward!!