Foreign Policy Formulation On Course

| June 4, 2015

The process of formulating the country’s foreign policy is slow because extensive consultations are required, says the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on June 1, Mr Lapologang Lekoa said the policy was still at the information analysis stage.

The guidelines, he said, were scheduled to be completed mid-year. He said stakeholders had completed information gathering and that the process of formulating the policy was slow because of the extensive consultation involved.

He said policy needed consultation with many stakeholders such as the private sector and small group interactions as well as university community participation. He said consultations started in 2012, as it was realised that questionnaires sent to people could not provide all the answers.

Member of PAC, Mr Dithapelo Keorapetse was of the view that lack of a codified foreign policy that articulates the country’s foreign policy principles may result in some discrepancies.

On other issues, Mr Lekoa said people appointed to work for the ministry were appointed on the strength of their performance.

He however, said the appointments were a prerogative of the appointing authority and not the ministry, but noted that he was incapacitated to tell whether certain positions held in foreign missions across the world were a preserve of certain Batswana or people of a particular origin.

Mr Shaun Ntlhaile had asked the accounting officer to clarify the perception that the ministry was only employing certain Batswana being retired politicians and friends, as they treat working abroad as their holidays and that the ministry was not taking part in the process of employing.

Another PAC member, Mr Ndaba Gaolathe wondered as to whether the appointments of diplomats considered factors that influence the work and the morale within the ministry.

Mr Gaolathe also aised the ministry to provide professional guidance to political leaders on appointments as they have the obligations and responsibility to aise, although they might not have the influence on such matters.

BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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