Lost glory restoration

  • President Samia vows reforms at Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • Censures unprocedural recruitment, unnecessary transfers and realignment of senior officials
  • Docket’s operations under close watch of President

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has vowed to restore the lost glory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation by implementing recommendations presented by the committee she had constituted to look into the performance of the docket.

The Head of State said that, to start with, the ministry will be under her close watch, adding that the Presidential Foreign Service Fellowship will be formed to train youths who will be allocated to various areas under the ministry to enhance the ministry’s performance.

President Samia revealed her determination to reform the ministry in her remarks in Dar es Salaam yesterday after receiving the committee report.

Among the recommendations made, the committee calls for restructuring of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

She said there is a need for reviewing the structure of the ministry in order to enhance its performance which has deteriorated in recent years.

“The performance of the ministry has   deteriorated in recent years due to various reasons among others being delay in floating employment opportunities,” she said.

According to the Head of State, even when the employment opportunities were approved, the recruitment procedures did not conform to the stipulated employment requirements.

The President said there has been unnecessary transfers, realignments and reorganisation of senior officials, all of which affected the performance of the ministry, including causing failure by some units under the docket to deliver.

“Professionalism experienced in the past does not exist today, our strength, competence and influence in the diplomatic fields have become either very minimal or poor,” she said.

She added: “There has been several complaints from the international organisations within the country on an unsatisfactory performance of the ministry, this is the reason behind the formation of this committee which was tasked to review the performance of the ministry in order to restore its status.”

She said the recommendations presented by the committee on formation of various units and   departments within the ministry should be worked upon properly.

She said the ministry will not be placed under the President’s Office as recommended by the committee, but rather it will be under a close watch of her Office.

Commenting on the Presidential Foreign Service Fellowship, Dr Samia said that the youth who will benefit from the programme will be drawn from the private sector and other areas and will be vetted and trained for two years.

She noted that after completing the training they will be assigned to various areas under the ministry in order to enhance efficiency.

“This programme is expected to last for three years …it is my hope that we are going to get well trained personnel who will deliver to the government expectations,” she said.

Dr Samia further said the government has started working on the recommendation of strengthening the East African Community section.

She said she has already appointed Ambassador Stephen Mbundi as Permanent Secretary and his deputy Ambassador Said Shaib Mussa as technocrats in charge of the ministry’s EAC section.

She said the two executives are experienced in international affairs, saying the two are in a better position to deal with EAC issues as the government continues to work on the recommendations regarding the section.

The President pledged to work on all the recommendations presented by the committee.

She said the committee presented recommendations which require implementation from the ministry itself, central government and sectorial ministries.

The committee raised a number of issues touching on the country’s foreign policy, diaspora, restructuring of the ministries, construction of embassies abroad and economic diplomacy.

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