The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Eisenhower Mkaka, says his ministry has undertaken a functional review to create new directorates and divisions as a way of improving service delivery.
Mkaka made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday during an engagement with the State Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, who is also the country’s Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms.
The mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is to foster political and economic international relations.
During the meeting, Mkaka highlighted a number of reform areas to be implemented ranging from the establishment of Career Diplomatic Service to restructuring of some of the Malawi missions abroad.
Chilima said he welcomed the proposal to restructure Malawi’s missions in a bid to broaden the country’s global representation and add value to their work. Through the restructuring, we must understand the extent of the establishments and their role in each mission.
“Heads of Mission must be capable people to link our country to the global world. They must identify investment opportunities for the country and cultivate strategic allies to help us meet our needs on the international stage. They are not there for holiday or solely welcoming government officials at airports,” said Chilima after meeting the minister.
Mkaka also also presented a reform proposal to establish a Career Diplomatic Service and a diplomatic school to train our personnel.
It is anticipated that the establishment of a Career Diplomatic Service will stop the tendency of sending political sycophants to foreign missions and the subsequent recalls every time a new regime is ushered in.
Chilima said he assured the minister that ‘the administration of His Excellency President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera will support the proposal especially with the fact that the legal framework on the proposal is being worked on already’.
“The ministry also indicated it is reviewing the VIP access at our international airports so that the abuse that has prevailed there is stopped. I have also recommended that an audit on diplomatic passports be carried out to review holders with the aim of reducing abuse. In addition, the ministry will have a purpose built building as well as acquire VVIP vehicles for specific use such as state visits by Heads of State and other VVIPs,” he said.
“The speed, energy and political leadership being shown by the Minister is commendable. Going forward, we will have a roadmap to ensure that we are all on the right track towards implementation,” added Chilima.
There has been widespread criticism over Malawi’s diplomatic service which has mainly been appointed based on political affiliation to parties in government. Many have advocated for career diplomats to represent Malawi if the country is to benefit from its representation abroad through trade, among other things.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :