Kenyans in the diaspora have expressed confidence that the government will better the investment environment in the country to enable to leverage on the diaspora remittance, saying tapping into diaspora remittances can boost the economy at a time when Kenyans are struggling with the high cost of living.
This follows a promise by the government to put structures to make it easier for Kenyans abroad to invest back in the country in a fresh bid to woo investments from the diaspora community.
Kenya Diaspora Alliance Chairperson Dr Shem Ochuodho on December 8, made a plea to the government to focus on improving the welfare of Kenyans abroad to enable them to invest heavily back at home.
“Kenyans in the diaspora are ready to invest their money back home. There needs to be a focus on improving the investment environment to attract them,” said Dr Ochuodho.
He was speaking at the 10th Annual Kenya Diaspora Homecoming Convention held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Diaspora Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Roslyn Njogu said the Kenya Kwanza administration has stepped up efforts to make the environment for an investment better for Kenyans in the diaspora.
“We are calling on Kenyans to think about what new business opportunities they are bringing into the country. Kenyans abroad should think of technology transfer as new fronts they can bring into Kenya from their host countries,” said Njogu.
Njogu said they have received concerns from Kenyans abroad decrying the high cost of sending money back to the country. She promised to engage all stakeholders in the diaspora money transfer sector to ensure that the cost is manageable.
“The concern we have noted from the diaspora is the high cost of sending money back home. We want more Kenyans abroad to keep sending money back home so that we develop our economy,” Njogu added.
Currently, the foreign and diaspora ministry is setting up and securing systems for Kenyans in the diaspora to obtain jobs that suit their qualifications.
Kenya Diaspora Alliance Chairperson Dr Shem Ochuodho exuded confidence that the steps laid down by the government to improve the welfare of Kenyans in the diaspora will improve remittance in the country.
“I am confident that the steps being undertaken by the government to improve the welfare of Kenyans living abroad by the government will bear fruits and see the doubling of remittances,” said Dr Ochuodho.
Ochuodho said that tapping into diaspora remittances can boost the economy of the country at a time when Kenyans are struggling with the high cost of living.
He said the tough economic times in the country can be rescued by leveraging on diaspora remittances. He asked the government to create a favourable environment for investment opportunities to woo Kenyans abroad into investing in the country.
“We are seeking to convince the government that it is Kenyans in the diaspora who can rescue our economy during tough times if a better investment environment is in place,” said Ochuodho.
United States Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman lauded the Kenya Diaspora Alliance for organising the conference. She encouraged Kenyans abroad to invest back in the country.
According to CBK Diaspora Remittances Surveys, inflows to Kenya have increased tenfold over the past decade, reaching a record of $4.027 billion (Sh559.57 billion) in 2022.