Kenyan Diplomats Urged To Engage Kenyans In The Diaspora

Hon. Onyonka, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs has said that Kenya’s diplomacy has adopted a new dimension with greater emphasis on economic diplomacy and therefore all Government policies and plans are geared towards accelerating economic development and realization of Vision 2030.

Hon. Onyonka said this while addressing the newly posted officers to various Kenya Embassies and High Commissions. In line with this, the Minister thanked the Foreign Service Institute for organizing the training program which has proven to be crucial in sharpening the skills of Kenyan diplomats since inception.

He underscored the need to understand their countries of posting and especially the national interests in those countries to maximize our benefits. “It is imperative, therefore, for Foreign Service officers to understand our foreign policy”, he said. The Minister underscored the need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations. “Countries do not just establish Missions but are informed by rigorous thought and decision making process based on their national interest”, Hon. Onyonka added.

The Minister urged the officers to ensure that they read and understand the country’s foreign policy document and Vision 2030 which should enable them market Kenya efficiently and effectively. The priorities seek to promote economic development and prosperity by increasing market access; capital inflow; technological advancements among other objectives.

The Minister reiterated that the current domestic policy as outlined in vision 2030 is to create, “A Globally Competitive and Prosperous Nation with High Quality of Life by 2030”. The Minister noted that countries have become more aggressive in the way they fight for their interests at the global stage, particularly in trade and economic aspect in a bid to increase investments flow; expand market for Kenyan products and increase tourist flows to Kenya.

While noting the important contribution by Kenyans in the Diaspora, Hon. Onyonka said that they contribute more than ever to the economic development through remittances in Foreign exchange. He therefore urged the officers to constantly engage Kenyans in the Diaspora and ensure their wellbeing through efficient service delivery.

The Director Foreign Service Institute Amb. Dr. Philip Mwanzia observed that the 21st century diplomat must be acquainted with all round knowledge especially on foreign policy, economic and trade issues, performance management, regional economic integration processes, immunities and privileges among others. He noted the important role the FSI continues to play in sharpening the skills of the Foreign Service officers in enhancing service delivery and accelerating the economic development in the country. Amb. Mwanzia said that the institute will forge partnerships and collaborations to ensure that officers are educated in the most effective way to understand and appreciate their role in engaging stakeholders.

The Director of Economics and External Trade Directorate Mr. Johnson said that economic diplomacy has taken the centre stage in pursuit of Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals. “There is need to understand the country’s strategies long term goals and plans which are all geared towards this noble course”, he said.

Trade has become a vehicle for development and as such there is every need to promote Kenyan products abroad to widen markets and diversify on the traditional exports. He noted that for the country to enhance competitiveness in the global markets; there is need to improve national and regional infrastructure. The Government has embarked on massive investments in infrastructure developments such as railways, roads, pipelines, oil refineries and ICT among others to address the limitations.

Source- http://www.mfa.go.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=373:hon-onyonka-opens-induction-course-for-newly-posted-officers&catid=35:news

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