Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015

Kenya finally launches Diaspora Policy

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the Diaspora Policy aimed at engaging over a 2 million Kenyan citizens living outside the country.

The policy which was spearheaded by former President Kibaki’s regime was launched after lengthy consultation between the diaspora and Kenya’s Policy makers.

According to President Kenyatta’s statement, the main thrust of the policy, therefore, is to harness and maximize the potential of Kenyans abroad to contribute to Kenya’s transformation agenda while at the same time meeting their needs and expectations through a mutually beneficial and lasting partnership.

The policy also seeks to mobilise Kenyans abroad to form, “town or country specific umbrella associations which have national outlook as well as regional and global umbrella associations for effective engagement and representation.”

It will also seek to enhance measures put to protect Kenyans living abroad.

“The Government will strengthen and enhance the capacity of Kenya missions abroad through deployment of additional staff to missions in countries with high concentration of Kenyans in order to effectively deal with diverse issues affecting Kenyans abroad,” the president assured Kenyans

The Diaspora Policy was launched alongside the nation’s  foreign policy which seeks to to protect Kenya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, protect the image of the country and protect the interests of Kenyans abroad among other objectives.

The Foreign Policy is pegged on five pillars – economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy, environmental diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and Diaspora diplomacy.

Kenyans have responded positively to the news of this development, saying its was about time. The Diaspora hopes for structures to be put in place to make this policy a reality.

”After such a colorful, high profiled showcase, we hope behind the scenes the ministry of foreign affairs will have proper structures and live up to the policy’s outline”. The engagement needs to go beyond words” quoting comments from a Kenyan Diaspora.

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