, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – The Foreign Affairs Ministry is set to execute elaborate projects intended to improve its relations with other countries and also enhance its image locally and abroad.
In an interview with Capital FM News, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the ministry has received Sh12.4 billion for the financial year 2014/2015.
“Sh10.9 billion is recurrent and Sh1.6billion is development. But we did a further resubmission to the National Treasury so that they could reconsider important projects and also items where our hands are tied like the personnel issues,” he explained.
The ministry is a critical point of focus in Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration with concerns that Kenya’s relationship with the West has been a rocky one with multiple questions coupled with concerns of growing gaps between the country and the West.
But as Kibicho says, the ministry is charged with the responsibility of winning the hearts of the West and defending the country’s image to ensure it does not loose out on the goodies that come with globalisation.
“We have enhanced foreign policy; we are becoming more aggressive in the way we engage in the rest of the world. We are aggressively trying to improve our bilateral relationship especially with African countries so that over all trade gets to the favor of the country,” he explained.
Working with the Diaspora is also an important aspect the ministry considered in its budget calculation.
According to Kibicho, Sh300 million will be used to develop a portal that will facilitate interaction with the Diaspora which highly contributes to the country’s revenue.
The ministry which is Kenya’s bridge to the outside world heavily relies on foreign missions to execute its work. It hopes to promote inflow of foreign direct investments from external markets through improved bilateral relations.
In the pipeline, is giving all Kenyan missions a face lift which has seen the ministry request for more funds in the second resubmission.
Though it had requested for Sh400 million, it will receive Sh100 million for the facelift.
It is further set to get Sh500 million out of the Sh650 million requested to establish eight new missions in countries where Kenya has economic interests.
Kenya is also expected to open a chancery in Uganda which is Kenya’s biggest trading partner.
“Our biggest trading partner on planet earth is Uganda. When you look at our chancery in Uganda it does not befit that status. We have asked for additional for Sh450 million to purchase a chancery in Uganda,” he said.
Owing to the high rental costs paid for embassies in Geneva and New York, Kenya further plans to acquire its own buildings in the two cities.