THE ambassador for Togo has spoken of his desire to work with Portsmouth to boost prospects locally and in the West African region.
His Excellency Ambassador Yackoley Johnson visited the city yesterday to speak at a conference about maritime issues facing Togo and piracy.
I have been inspired by the people here, and by what can be done together to tackle issues with maritime security.His Excellency Ambassador Yackoley Johnson
Mr Johnson and his representatives want to work with the University of Portsmouth to raise awareness of overseas security and develop stronger links to Britain.
He also hopes students can be brought over from Togo to study and learn the English language and delve into Portsmouth’s maritime history.
Mr Johnson was given a tour of HMS Victory and discovered more about the role it played as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Speaking to The News, he said: ‘Portsmouth is a reference point when looking into maritime excellence. By coming here I have been inspired.
‘I have been inspired by the people here, and by what can be done together to tackle issues with maritime security. I enjoyed visiting HMS Victory and it will be a point of reference when looking back on this trip.’
Professor Tony Chafer, an expert on West African security, said: ‘What Togo wants to do is build up trade, cultural and economic links with Britain.
‘The Ambassador has been here to familiarise himself with the university, but also to look at options of sending students here for excursions in the field of maritime security.’
Director general of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Professor Dominic Tweddle, said: ‘We get visitors from all over the world coming to the museum.
‘We were delighted to have welcomed the delegation of the Embassy of Togo, especially as it was their first visit to the city, together with other representatives from the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth.
‘I know everyone was fascinated with HMS Victory and her history, and we very much hope they enjoyed their tour of the ship.’