An investment conference seeking to explore unique opportunities in post-election Kenya will be held this week in Nairobi. The Kenya Diaspora Homecoming Convention is an annual event that brings together Kenyan Diasporas from all over the world for celebration of the year gone by, networking, updates on Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) events and any upcoming opportunities and initiatives.
Our proposition for this year is to deepen 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 continent.
With our understanding of the remittances being made by Africans to their home countries, we believe that the right channeling of these funds would lead to great economic growth and empowerment of rural and other poor communities for overall economic growth of nations. The event will, however, go beyond remittances and consider skills transfer, intellectual capital and markets.
We seek to engage different economic experts and remittance experts as well as drivers and stakeholders in county, national, regional and continental development to speak about the opportunities available for diasporas to invest in back home.
It has been our collective understanding that many diasporas want to return home but without proper investments to sustain them in their sunset years, there is nothing to return to and so many remain abroad until death.
We believe that investing back home will not only elevate a sense of pride, but also significantly increase remittances for posterity. The KDA has set a target to work with partners (government and corporates) to double the remittances to US$ 5-6 billion, and increase the percentage going into investments and hard savings from the current 25 to 30 per cent by 2030.
The convention will sensitise diasporas on the opportunities available for them to invest back home as opposed to just sending money for consumption and subsistence.
The forum will be a platform to reassure diasporas of safeguards already in place for their investments as well as considerations and efforts being made to further secure their interests and remittances. Beyond remittances, the event will also highlight other areas in which diaspora can spur growth through human capital, consultancies, diplomacy and business networks or markets.
The specific objectives include enlightening diasporas on smart and secure approaches to saving and growing the value of their savings and identification of different channels of remitting money back home in safe, affordable ways. It will also create awareness of initiatives underway for investment in the continent with key stakeholders and also encourage them to develop and take advantage of interventions that are opening up new opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Mr Ochuodho is the chairman of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance