Opinion: Politically appointed ambassadors a threat to Uganda’s foreign policy
By Crispy Kaheru
Increasingly we are steadily moving towards politically appointed ambassadors. At a time when global politics seems to be very dynamic and sophisticated, we instead, as a country should be looking more at seconding technical foreign service officers for ambassadorial roles NOT political appointees. As we speak now, we have more than 70% of our heads of missions politically appointed – this does not portend well for Uganda’s foreign policy.
It takes a career diplomat about eighteen (18) years of technical service to rise to the level of ambassador. How would an 18 year experienced career diplomat compare with someone who has no experience in Foreign Service?
Some of the appointees are political rejects; their constituencies rejected them during elections – should we set our hopes high on ‘political rejects’ to protect Uganda’s interests abroad?
We need to let the institutions of public service to function – and function effectively. Government needs to deploy career ambassadors, seasoned, with expertise, knowledge and experience to protect and over see Uganda’s foreign policy.
It is not a matter of sending representative figureheads, but rather professionals who, by virtue of their outstanding career qualities as people, can bring a contribution to diplomacy and to the mission that they are heading.