Ruto’s Congressional Snub Tied to African Diplomats Taking Up Side Hustles


A weak African diplomatic presence in Washington was pointed out as one of the reasons President William Ruto has been denied an opportunity to address a joint congress. 

In a report published by Politico on Wednesday, it was revealed that most of the African embassies in the US had only a handful of diplomats who were underpaid. 

As such, the diplomats engaged in side hustles like driving taxis and working at petrol stations (gas stations) to make ends meet.

Politico quoted members of the US State Department who remarked that the challenges African diplomats faced made it impossible for them to lobby for the interests of their countries. 

USA White House along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

File

These inadequacies were termed as one of the reasons that made House Speaker Mike Johnson deny Ruto’s request to address joint congress. 

“Africa watchers mentioned Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya as among the more robust diplomatic performers,” it was reported adding that the majority of the embassies stayed under the radar.

A European diplomat quoted in the report opined that most ambassadors from Africa posted to Washington did not fully appreciate the diplomacy game. 

“D.C. is a playing field. You’ve got to be on the field playing the game. I don’t see too many African diplomats on the field,” a European diplomat was quoted opining why Ruto had received the congressional snub. 

Speaker Johnson had unconvincingly cited scheduling restraints as one of the reasons Ruto would not address the congress. 

He further assured President Ruto that should he be willing, it would be organised for him to Facetime some of the lawmakers. 

The report stated that despite Johnson’s statement, most African diplomats in Washington had never expected Ruto to be accorded the opportunity,

While Ruto may have been failed by his colleagues in the continent, he will be hosted to a state dinner by US President Joe Biden next week at the White House. 

A photo of US President Joe Biden (left) and President William Ruto (right)

PCS



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