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January 22, 2018

Kenyans in diaspora eyes counties for investment

Diaspora chairman Dr. Shem Ochuodho Photo/File
Diaspora chairman Dr. Shem Ochuodho Photo/File

Kenyans living in the diaspora are now targeting multi-billion investment opportunities in the county governments as a way of contributing to economic growth in the country.

Kenya Diaspora Alliance, a lobby group bringing together several diaspora caucuses, is organizing a huge conference that will bring together Kenyans living abroad to discuss investment and political issues affecting the diaspora.

Event’s organizing team chairman Prof Kefa Otiso said over 1,000 Kenyans living in over 50 countries around the world will attend the conference scheduled for next week at the Daystar University.

Several Governors and county governments  officials are expected to participate in the event to be held from December 9.

Investors in the banking sectors are also expected to participate in the event. The diaspora remittances in the country have risen to over Sh114 billion annually.

“The Convention will engage local political and economic actors on several areas of mutual interests to foster development in Kenya and strengthen bilateral/multilateral relations and the country’s democratic growth,” Prof Otiso said.

The delegates will also engage local leaders on a number of social, economic and political issues including a review on the position of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on the diaspora’s participation in the next General Election.

The IEBC has just released a proposed guidelines on diaspora participation in the next elections following a ruling by the Supreme Court.

The ruling allowed Kenyans living abroad to be facilitated to exercise their democratic rights through elections from 2017.

The court ordered that they should be allowed to in all the six elective positions including the Ward Representatives seat.

KDA Global Chairman Dr Shem Ochuodho said the December convention will strive to open investment opportunities especially in the devolved sectors.

“We want to be part of devolution and many Kenyans in the diaspora are looking for information on where to put their money especially in the decentralized government. This convention will come out with answers regarding some of these issues,” Ochuodho said.

The three day event organized in partnership with several development partners will follow the WTO conference in Nairobi.

The thematic areas to be tackled by the convention includes diaspora investment in the 47 counties, Public, Private, People's Partnerships (PPPP)’s, Youth, Women, Disabled Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Employment, Knowledge, Talent, Skill Management & Innovation, Implementation of the National Diaspora Policy and harnessing Diaspora Input in the WTO Ministerial Conference.

Key speakers lined up to participate at the event includes Speaker of the Senate David Ekwe Ethuro, Chief Justice Dr  Willy Mutunga, Secretary General UNCTAD, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, the Africa Union (AU’s) Vice Chairperson Erastus Mwencha, and the Chairperson, Council of Governors Peter Munya, who is also the Governor of Meru County and several ambassadors and High Commissioners of different countries.

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