I’m writing in reference to the Saturday, 31st October 2009 New Times article titled “Top US Treasury official hails Rwanda on investment”.
I would like to draw the attention of our Government and corporate sector officials on the imperative necessity to critically capitalize on such foreign partners’ overtures as those of the USA and others in the world community of nations.
Today the Deputy Treasury Secretary in the United States government, Neal Wolin, is commending Rwanda as a country with a conducive investment climate; he further promises to enhance cooperation in the business sectors of the USA and Rwanda. That’s all right.
Rwanda must put a premium on its international business operations, for example by adequately training government and corporate sector personnel to the necessity of ensuring Rwanda is adequately marketed out there.
This should be the work of sharp commercial experts alongside diplomats, genuinely versed in international business and public diplomacy.
The theory and practice of diplomatic representation has undergone mutations over decades; and the very meaning of diplomacy has greatly shifted from its original semantics.
But many of the developing countries’ diplomats have not noted the great shift; they still go about representing their countries in the old fashioned way.
Many African diplomats will just present their credentials to the Head of State of their country of accreditation, drive flashy cars, delivering messages from their home government to the government in the host country and attend cocktail parties - and that is it!
This type of diplomacy served well at the time when ambassadors had no business other than representing the interests of royalty.
It is of paramount importance to commit adequate resources and competent personnel to Rwandan Foreign Service; corporate sector officials must team up with diplomats to secure Rwanda’s interests across the world.
And Lord knows Rwanda qualifies more than most to have that wealth come her way.
The stumbling blocks we have today, parading themselves as top and mid Government executives must gradually be cleared off.
A close scrutiny must constantly be exercised by government panels specifically set up for the purpose of recruiting, assessing and controlling Foreign Service personnel. This is an inescapable fact.
Ntarugera Deo Koya