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Diplomacy This is how much Kenya is spending on maintaining diplomatic relations around the world

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This is in addition to Kenya’s sinking another Sh1.2 billion ($12m) in purchasing a building to house its ambassador in Geneva, Switzerland.

play Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Monica Juma and President Uhuru Kenyatta a t a past event. (pulselive)

 

  • The ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently indicated a change of plan from lease of space to property purchase as rental costs shoot into billions of shillings annually.
  • Rent expenses by Kenyan foreign missions now account for a fifth or Sh3.58 billion ($35.8m) of the ministry’s Sh17.9 billion ($179m) recurrent budget.
  • After Brexit, Nairobi is also keen to position itself as a strong ally and business partner to the UK as the country revamps its interest in Africa and the rest of the world.

Kenyan taxpayers will once again be forced to dig deeper into their pockets and fork out billions of shillings to meet the country’s growing image maintenance costs as diplomatic expenses abroad continue to shoot up and show no sign of abating.

The Kenyan government plans to spend Sh170 million ($1.7m) on renovating the high commissioner’s residence in London.

The Treasury has allocated Sh150 million ($1.5m) to revamp the envoy’s home for the year starting July 2018 on top of the Sh20 million ($200,000) it offered in the current year to start the renovations.

play Treasury house, Nairobi (Anzetse Were)

 

This is in addition to Kenya’s sinking another Sh1.2 billion ($12m) in purchasing a building to house its ambassador in Geneva, Switzerland.

The National Assembly, last week, allocated Sh1 billion ($10m) for the purchase of chancery and ambassador’s residence in Geneva and another Sh200 million for the year starting July 2019.

The trend is not slowing down anytime soon. The ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently indicated a change of plan from lease of space to property purchase as rental costs for foreign embassies and consulates shoot into billions of shillings annually.

Rent expenses by Kenyan foreign missions now account for a fifth or Sh3.58 billion ($35.8m) of the ministry’s Sh17.9 billion ($179m) recurrent budget in the year to last June.

play The Kenya High Commission address in London. (Kenya High Commission)

 

As a result, the ministry has said it would be active in the property market abroad through purchase of chanceries, ambassadors’ residences and staff houses to cut down on rent costs.

It is not, however, hard to see Kenya’s rationale to sink billions to continue having a permanent residence in the United Kingdom.

Britain and Kenya, its former colony, enjoy good relations forged over the last century and have a broad trade, cultural, and military alliance.

United Kingdom is the second largest market for Kenya- made goods in Europe after the Netherlands.

play Kenya exported Sh38.5 billion ($385m) goods last year and imported Sh30 billion ($300m) products from Britain. (britsinkenya)

 

Kenya exported Sh38.5 billion ($385m) goods last year and imported Sh30 billion ($300m) products from Britain.

After Brexit, Nairobi is also keen to position itself as a strong ally and business partner to the UK as the country revamps its interest in Africa and the rest of the world.

London is also one of the cities including Geneva, New York and Washington considered to have a big profile among Kenya embassies and high commissions and Kenya sees any cost in having a permanent residence in these cities as necessary and worthy in the long run.

Kenya has 49 embassies and high commissions abroad alongside 27 consulates – a subdivision of the embassy that protects interests of Kenyans in foreign lands