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Mudavadi seeks more funding to boost foreign relations

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Mudavadi articulated a series of compelling justifications for the additional budgetary requirements, each grounded in Kenya's mission to fortify its stature as a regional and continental powerhouse.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has sought more funding for his efforts to position Kenya as a regional and continental economic hub through diplomacy.

Mudavadi made the request on Wednesday, during his appearance before the National Assembly Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations Committee in Parliament.

He addressed the committee during the presentation of the 2024–2025 Financial Year Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the 2023–2024 Supplementary Estimates No. II.

The committee chaired by Belgut MP Nelson Koech sought to know the reasons for the extra funding.

Mudavadi, also Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister, articulated a series of compelling justifications for the additional budgetary requirements, each grounded in Kenya's mission to fortify its stature as a regional and continental powerhouse and enhance its diplomatic outreach on the global stage.

He emphasised the imperative to operationalise newly approved foreign missions, essential for expanding Kenya's diplomatic footprint and fostering closer ties with international partners.

The CS also highlighted the significant challenges posed by the devaluation of the Kenya Shilling in 2023, which resulted in arrears and funding shortfalls for crucial diplomatic endeavours undertaken by Kenyan missions abroad.

"Kenya's proactive engagement in geopolitical matters involving peace, security, and economic diplomacy, necessitates financial backing to effectively lobby and collaborate with global stakeholders. This includes Kenya's recent submission of a candidate for the chairmanship of the AU Commission," he said.

Mudavadi further highlighted the pivotal role of state events and foreign visits in projecting Kenya's regional influence and facilitating meaningful participation in international fora.

Such engagements, including hosting visiting dignitaries and participating in high-level summits, are integral to advancing Kenya's diplomatic objectives. he said.

Mudavadi's request came amid conflicts in Somalia, the DRC, Sudan, and South Sudan, which have spotlighted Kenya's role as a peace broker in the region, a task that mandates sustained investment in special envoys tasked with mediation.

"Ensuring regional stability not only aligns with Kenya's reputation for supporting peace but is in Kenya's national interests because, historically, when there has been regional turmoil resulting in the displacement of civilians, these have usually made their way into Kenya's borders," the CS said.

Mudavadi emphasised the crucial role that Kenya's foreign affairs and diaspora initiatives play in protecting the welfare of its citizens worldwide and harnessing the potential of the diaspora to contribute to Kenya's national development efforts.

He noted that the call for additional budgetary allocations resonates with Kenya's strategic vision to assert itself as a leading regional player, enhancing diplomatic ties, fostering peace and stability, and protecting the interests of citizens both at home and abroad.

The Prime Cabinet Secretary's roles include overseeing the Public Service Performance Management Unit and government delivery services. Besides assisting the president and his deputy, he supervises ministries and state departments and coordinates the government's legislative agenda with Parliament.

In the last financial year, the Office of the President was allocated a Sh23.1 billion budget, split into Sh17.08 billion for recurrent expenditure and Sh5.98 billion for development spending.

This was revised upwards to Sh31.42 billion, with Sh24.07 billion being the recurrent expenditure and Sh7.35 billion for development.

The Treasury allocated the CS's office Sh751.9 million for its recurrent expenditure in the revised 2022–2023 public expenditure plan, which was Sh300 million more than the allocation for the office of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

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