The Kenyan Embassy in France held a Diaspora Conference on Wednesday the 22nd of September from 6 p.m. at MEDEF Headquarters. It ended the Trade and Investment day held at the same Venue, which was part of the larger Kenya France Trade Mission 2010 geared towards strengthening existing links between Kenya and France and paving the way for new ones.
The identification of the Diaspora as a key pillar of Kenya’s Foreign policy combined with the introduction of dual citizenship in the new constitution has elicited interest in patriotic investing among Kenyan Community living in France. During the celebration of the promulgation of the constitution held at the Kenyan Embassy in Paris on 27th August 2010, the Kenyan Diaspora expressed their interest in investment opportunities in Kenya. Of the more than 2.5 million Kenyans living abroad, a mere 1000 reside in France. The government’s participation at this Diaspora conference confirms its all-encompassing approach to Diaspora matters and the importance it attaches to them.
From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Mr Okoth, informed participants that a Diaspora Directorate was established in 2008 and that the government was encouraging positive agitation and input to eradicate poverty. The Kenya Government has recognized the important role played by the Diaspora for Kenya’s development from being goodwill ambassadors who organize events that sell Kenya to sending remittances and making investments that boost the economy. Mr Johnstone Weru, Director of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged the participants to get acquainted with Vision 2030, Kenya’s development blueprint, in view of making tangible contributions to the country’s growth. He reminded participants that the government had also invested in them and cited the “maziwa ya nyayo” days.