A parliamentary report has recommended the urgent replacement or rehabilitation of some embassies to enable them play the role they were established for.
The embassies in Washington DC and New York are too old requiring complete overhaul, says report released yesterday by the Senate foreign affairs committee. The senators say the better option for Washington DC is constructing a new structure.
Rwanda currently has 33 diplomatic missions covering 147 countries, regional and international organizations. In addition, there are 37 honorary consulates representing the country’s strategic interests in 17 Countries.
The senators also say the number of missions is increasing rapidly but without corresponding increase of qualified diplomats to man the new positions. Part of the solution is using what the report calls “vertical structure” – whereby government hires new fresh diplomats alongside seasoned former diplomats with long experience.
“It takes long to train a career diplomat,” said Senator Michel Rugema.
Dr Richard Sezibera, a former secretary general of the east African community (EAC) is also member of the senate committee.
In other proposals, the lawmakers want a new and cheaper mechanism in which children of diplomats are educated. An idea that has been floated is the diplomats paying for the education of their kids as opposed to government.
“There needs to be discussion on how diplomats can educate their children without this consuming a large budget,” said Senator Sezibera.
The lawmakers also recommend more resources for the missions, but also warn that it may not be possible for now due to budget constraints.