Diaspora alliance welcomes launch of foreign policy
KDA is a Federation of over 30 Kenya Diaspora organizations around the world, with a nominal combined membership of 250,000. Their mission is to integrate, harmonise and synchronise
disparate actions and programs aimed at furthering and promoting the welfare and aspirations of the Kenyan Diaspora. The policy was developed in recognition of the urgent need to mainstream the Kenyan Diaspora into national development processes in line with the aspirations and goals of the Kenya Vision 2030 which recognises Diaspora contributions as a critical component to the growth of our economy and also towards the achievement of our overarching vision of a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya by the year 2030. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (MOFA and IT) sought the inputs of Diaspora Associations such as KDA in the development of the Diaspora Policy. KDA hopes for clarity in the institutional make-up for implementing the policy with the hope to include sufficient representation of the Diaspora. ‚ÄúThe Voice of the Kenyan Diaspora must inform the resultant diaspora laws and implementation framework of the Diaspora Policy,‚ÄĚ¬†¬† Brodie R.M. Osome and Toni La Tegola in a joint statement. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, inward formal remittances from the Kenya Diaspora stood at Sh113 billion (nearly equal to the annual national budget) for the year 2013 making it the highest forex income earner superseding tourism, horticulture and donor funding. This is an indication that the Diaspora has huge and untapped potential to positively contribute to the socioeconomic development of Kenya. With its business and investment arm, the Diaspora Investment Club (DICL), KDA has a well-established mechanism to harness and tap into the potential positive Diaspora contributions. Moreover, KDA seeks to work with other stakeholders, notably government, civil society, and the corporate sector through public-private people‚Äôs partnerships (PPPP) arrangements to grow the Kenyan economy. ‚ÄúWe also reiterate that the Government has a responsibility to engage and facilitate its citizens not only in the country, but also in the Diaspora as stipulated in the Constitution.‚ÄĚ The Constitution provides for the right to vote as well as the right to dual citizenship to all Kenyan citizens living abroad. This policy will facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between the country and the Kenyan Diaspora population. KDA encourages all Diaspora Kenyans and their over 1,000 organizations to contribute to the building of progressive Diaspora programs that can ensure that the estimated 3 million diasporans become part and parcel of the social, economic, and political fabric of Kenya. KDA’s commitment is to the goal of articulating and promoting the principle that all Kenyans have a right to inclusion, representation and participation in national affairs. KDA commends the partnership between UNDP, the World Bank and the Government in the creation of Kenya‚Äôs Diaspora Web Portal. We welcome the extension of this partnership and encourage KDA‚Äôs inclusion to collaborate by housing, expanding and maintaining the portal.