Africa-Press – Kenya. President William Ruto has asked newly appointed diplomats to curb the wastage of public resources in Kenya’s missions abroad.
The President said the government will ensure ambassadors are held accountable for the use of funds allocated to embassies.
“As the ambassador, you are the agent of the government of Kenya to make sure public resources allocated to your embassies are used prudently,” he said.
He made the remarks on Thursday at State House Nairobi during a meeting with 41 newly appointed ambassadors, high commissioners and deputy heads of mission.
They were 27 ambassadors and high commissioners, 2 consul generals and 12 deputy heads of mission.
The President told the ambassadors to be ready to “step up and represent the country abroad” as the government cuts down on foreign travel.
“It will not be necessary for us to send ministers and other public officials unless it is absolutely necessary,” he said.
He asked the diplomats to proactively protect and advance the interests of Kenyans in their countries of designation.
The President said it is the responsibility of the ambassadors to look after Kenyans operating in the countries they are posted.
The Head of State said the ambassadors should explore new business opportunities for Kenyans abroad and promote Kenya as an ideal investment destination.
He said they must emulate foreign ambassadors in Kenya who go out of their way to promote the interests of their countries and their people.
“It is my expectation that you will cultivate relations that foster the interests of the Republic of Kenya,” he added.
He told them not to shy away from making tough decisions “as long as it is done in good faith”, adding that the “culture of blame game must stop”.
Quoting American author on leadership John Maxwell, President Ruto said: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
He assured the envoys of his support and that of the government as they embarked on their tour of duty.
The President asked them to serve all Kenyans equally irrespective of political, community or religious background.
“I have not appointed any one of you to represent your family, your village, your community or your region. You are going to represent Kenya,” he said.
President Ruto noted that the stature of Kenya has tremendously grown in the last year thanks to the country’s robust advocacy of global issues.
He told the ambassadors to live up to the expectations of the global community and represent the country adequately on the global stage.
Present at the function were Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei and Foreign Service Academy Director-General Kirimi Kaberia, among other officials.
The new envoys have undergone intensive training at the Foreign Service Academy – of the State Department of Foreign Affairs – since they were vetted and approved by the National Assembly.