By Veronicah Njoroge
In a bid to create a platform for interaction, networking and investment opportunities amongst Kenyan in the diaspora and other stakeholders, the Government is set for a unique three-day conference. It aims at encouraging Kenyans in the Diaspora to invest back home. The meeting starts on Tuesday with a golf tournament at the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club. President Uhuru Kenyatta will then open the meeting officially on Wednesday. The government also hopes to deepen diaspora integration into national development.
Those expected to attend are mainly Kenyans living abroad, Kenyans who are returning home, stakeholders from both the financial and investments sectors, Kenyan envoys abroad, foreign diplomats accredited to Nairobi, real estate champions as well as hospitality players totaling to at least 500 participants.
The conference will be sponsored by institutions including Kenya Commercial Bank, Family Bank, National Bank and Dahabshill.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho says that the golf tournament is among some of the enticements they are offering to attract Kenyans living abroad. The government says shuttle service from CBD to Windsor, free meals at the event as well as negotiating for discounted airfare will help attract more participants to the meeting.
“The Conference is an important platform that will allow discussion of critical Diaspora issues of the day. The ministry of foreign affairs and international trade is also cognizant of the vital role played by the Diaspora and has made Diaspora diplomacy one of the five key pillars of Kenya’s foreign policy” Kibicho said.
Previously, the government faced criticism for not providing adequate information on the state of the economy, business environment that could encourage the Diaspora to directly invest back home.
Under President Uhuru’s leadership, the government has been working towards guiding Kenyans abroad on better investment opportunities back home as well as contribute towards the state’s development in line with vision 2030.Towards the end of 2014, an online portal for Kenyans abroad to register was launched.
This conference is the first of its kind under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. A concept note prepared for the meeting shows that it will be the “climax of diplomatic activities”.
The conference ends on April 02.