Economy

Kenya eyes foreign missions in Hungary, Mozambique, Indonesia

omamo

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Summary

  • Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the first mission to be opened will be in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, as the nation moves to increase its presence in Europe.
  • Ms Omamo said the ministry will try and buy properties for staff serving in the three foreign missions.
  • Most of the govern-owned properties in missions abroad are old having been acquired in the early years of Kenya’s Independence.

Kenya will open three foreign missions this year in a race to entrench its presence across the world.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the first mission to be opened will be in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, as the nation moves to increase its presence in Europe.

Kenya, she said will also operationalise its mission in Indonesia in far East Asia as well as in Maputo, Mozambique.

‘’We intend to open a mission hopefully in Hungary and to operationalise the mission in Indonesia and the mission in Maputo by sending ambassadors there,” said Ms Omamo in an interview Friday.

“We are persuaded that the opening up of missions in these three areas will be of benefit to Kenya.”

Ms Omamo said the ministry will try and buy properties for staff serving in the three foreign missions. But in the event that properties are not available, Kenya will rent space.

The rent, she insisted will be at a cost the ministry can sustain to pay.

“In some countries, all the land that you can buy for diplomats has already been given up so you have no choice but to rent. Our hope is that once these missions are opened, they will give us the boost that we want,” she said.

Plans by Kenya to open more foreign mission comes at a time Parliament Budget Office (PBO) has urged Kenya to cut the number of embassies and hire foreigners for the country’s diplomacy work in efforts to lower the cost of rent and hosting diplomats abroad.

PBO says that despite having 61 missions including consulates and liaison offices which are spread across the five continents, Kenyan ambassadors have failed to increase the country’s trade in those countries.

PBO said despite the expansion of Kenya’s footprint across the globe, the destination of Kenya’s exports has remained narrow with only 12 countries accounting for 70 percent of total exports in 2020.

Kenyan foreign missions have come into focus given the cost of maintaining embassies abroad.

Most of the govern-owned properties in missions abroad are old having been acquired in the early years of Kenya’s Independence.

[email protected]