Will funding Amb Juma is seeking better Kenya’s global standing?

Foreign Affairs

Strengthening Kenya’s relations with the world will greatly depend on additional funding, Ambassador Juma believes.

Monica Juma who is the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary is lobbying for more funding that she believes will strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations.

Dr Juma warned that Kenya’s influence in the region and beyond is likely to get a beating unless there is enhanced funding to support the country’s foreign policy.

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Appearing before National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations committee on Wednesday, Dr Juma said the country’s geopolitical strategy and the “way we sit on the Indian Ocean rim” have everything to do with a properly prosecuted foreign policy.

Dr Juma pushed for a Sh37.8 billion allocation to the ministry in the next financial year, at a time Kenya is experiencing boundary issues with her neighbours, the latest being the dispute with Somalia in the Indian Ocean.

Dr Juma said a huge chunk of the proposed budget would go towards increasing missions and consulates abroad from the current 56 to 72, thereby expanding Kenya’s diplomatic footprint and representation globally.

“It is also looking at how other countries would want to inhibit our growth. We need to revitalise the Foreign Service Academy to prepare us for the world of tomorrow and not just today,” Dr Juma said.

Image result for foreign affairs ministry kenya

The country uses its foreign missions to promote engagement with other nations for a better global standing and recognition.

Dr Juma said opening 16 new missions would increase Kenya’s foothold across the world.

The decision to increase the foreign missions was approved by the Cabinet last year and was to start immediately with the opening of three missions.

But the matter was pushed to the 2019/20 financial year due to cash delays at the National Treasury.

According to the Budget Policy Statement under consideration in Parliament, Treasury has proposed an allocation of Sh15 billion, which Dr Juma said was not enough for a real grip on the continent and beyond.

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