There is a new Ambassador in town. The German Embassy has finally revealed the new Ambassador Designate to Kenya, Mr Andreas Peschke.
Mr Peschke has served the German government for quite a while and is well remembered as the Spokesman of the Federal Foreign Affairs Ministry (Auswärtiges Amt) in Berlin which was his last post before being transferred to Nairobi. Mr. Peschke who studied African Studies at the University has also worked in Nigeria among many other countries.
Mr. Peschke’s road to Nairobi has been long and dreary, starting with the delayed issuing of his visa to enter Kenya. On getting the Kenyan visa, he arrived in Kenya in October but has still not been accredited as the official German Ambassador to Kenya. Although, he is still working at the embassy in Nairobi, failure of accreditation means he cannot do anything in the name of the German government and remains a German national in Kenya until such a time President Uhuru Kenyatta makes time to accredit him.
Accreditation is the process where an appointed/designate Ambassador presents his/her documents to the President of the country where they have been assigned. Accreditation means that the individual then has authority to act on behalf of their country and have the recognition of the government in the host country. Without accreditation, an ambassador cannot meet the President in a formal capacity, cannot host his country’s national ceremonies such as Independence Day and is not empowered to sign and negotiate any bilateral assistance deals.
For those who didn’t know the former German ambassador Margit Hellwig-Bötte’s tenure in Nairobi ended in September this year and she was deployed to Tanzania afterwards. Apparently, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania refused to have her in the country and she was sent back to Berlin.
The Kenyan officials in Berlin have maintained that all is well (read: There’s NO war between Kenya and Germany) while most onlookers think there is a war, including myself (read: Cold War Between Kenya and Germany) and the Tagespiegel that termed it “diplomatischen kalten Krieg” (diplomatic cold war). The ambassador- designate from Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Zambia are still awaiting accreditation.