The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: MPs - Pick More Women Envoys

Women legislators yesterday put pressure on the Government to increase the number of gender representatives among ambassadors designated abroad.

Special seats MPs Faida Bakari, Ester Nyawazwa and Lediana Mng'ong'o queried the rationale behind the little number of women ambassadors in Tanzania missions.

In her main question, Ms Bakari wanted to know the number of ambassadors representing Tanzania, and why there have been no women ambassadors from Zanzibar.

On their part, Ms Ester Nyawazwa and Lediana Mng'ong'o questioned the criteria used in appointing ambassadors, and if there is no woman in the country who meets such criteria.

Responding to the question on behalf of the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the deputy minister for East African Cooperation, Mr Mohammed Aboud, reaffirmed the Government's commitment to increase the gender representation.

However, he said only the president has the authority to appoint ambassadors; hence it is within his jurisdiction to do so.

Tanzania has only two women ambassadors while two others representing Ireland and Canada have been designated to Tanzania.

Mr Aboud mentioned them as Ambassadors Mwanaidi Maajar and Nyasugara Kadege designated to London, United Kingdom and Nairobi, Kenya, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Government has declared its commitment to implementing the economic diplomacy policy in order to foster economic, social and cultural development in the country.

Mr Aboud told the House that the Government has begun implementing a policy in which officers with the relevant knowledge and skills have already been deployed.

These have been attached to the London Trade Centre at the Tanzania high commission in London, UK; New York, USA and Pretoria, South Africa, he said.

Responding to the main and supplementary questions by Tabora Urban MP Siraju Kaboyonga, Mr Aboud said other 25 experts in economics, trade and marketing would be deployed to various Tanzania embassies and missions in the near future.

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