Kenyans in the diaspora eye local investments

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenyans living abroad are set to explore new investments and remittances opportunities in the country in an investment conference set for next month.

Bolstered by the approach that the new administration is taking towards the diaspora with a new State Department for Diaspora Affairs, the Kenya Diaspora Alliance said there is opportunity to double the remittances to between $5 billion (Sh600 billion) and $6 billion (Sh720 billion) by 2030.

Remittance inflows to Kenya, according to Central Bank data, have increased tenfold in the last 15 years, reaching an all-time record of $3.18 billion (Sh381 billion) in 2021.

They have become a key source of foreign exchange to the country, accounting for about three per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Chairman of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance Shem Ochuodho said the conference that will be attended by top government officials will help foster ties between the new regime and Kenyans living abroad.

He added that among the issues that the forum will address include the plight of migrant workers, particularly those working in the Gulf who have faced increased cases of reported abuses by their employers.

“Kenyans living abroad are optimistic and have trained their eyes on promises made to them by the new regime on investment opportunities in the country after elections,” said Dr Ochuodho.

Deepen relationship

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua is expected to engage with the Kenyan Diaspora from over 127 countries in the convention to deepen the ministry's relationship with diaspora, as many have over the last decades felt alienated from the docket.

The CS is set to grace the ninth Kenya Diaspora Homecoming Convention, which will be held from December 7 and 9 at Ole Sereni Hotel.  

“It has been a headache for Kenyans in diaspora to even acquire the new e-passport as some have to travel for miles or even leave their country of domicile to another country at their own cost just to get it done,” added Dr Ochuodho.

The convention is an annual event that brings together Kenyan diaspora from all over the world for celebration of the year gone by, networking, updates on KDA events and any upcoming opportunities and initiatives.

“This year we are looking forward to deepening the conversation which started with last year’s event, about how we can leverage diaspora resources for the economic growth of the country, the region and the Continent,” said Ochuodho.