Virtual Jamhuri Day 2020 Celebrations for Kenyans in the Diaspora -London/Rome/Paris

Kenyans in cities across the world joined online platforms to celebrate 57th Jamhuri Day. In London the virtual celebrations, first of kind were led by H.E Manoah Isipisu, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK who reiterated the special relations  between Kenya and the UK. The two countries recently signed a trade agreement, which secures market access for Kenya’s horticultural products post Brexit despite concerns by members of the East Africa community and the rest of the AU that the BIT is against the collective voice Africa is pushing for under the New trade agreement – AfCFTA. In his speech, the Ambassador highlighted key sectors that the two countries seek further collaboration including; climate change , defence and security, education, healthcare and Agriculture.  The celebrations were also addressed by HON. James Duddridge the UK’s  Minister for Africa who also praised the ‘special relations’ between the two countries.

The Ambassador took time to celebrate and honour a number of Kenyans in the Diaspora who have made tremendous contribution in their profession; these included: Mr Solomon Mugera BBC, Perez Ochieng – Sacoma Communities, Sarah Ikumu – Britain got talent finalist (Entertainment), Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng – Transport Engineer and Bennie – NHS.

In France – Ambassador Judi Wakhungu hosted a virtual Jamhuri Day party in collaboration with the Kenya Community in France and in Rome, Ambassador Jackline Yonga – Kenya Ambassador to Italy also hosted the celebrations online.

Kenyans in  Europe are ranked second highest in the value of remittance to Kenya after the US. And even despite challenges induced by the COVID 19 pandemic, the Diaspora has continued to send money back home, some tapping into their savings to support vulnerable family members.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya recorded that total inflows in the 12 months to September stood at $2,967 million (Sh322.8 billion) compared to $2,786 (Sh303.1 billion) in the 12 months to September 2019.

Diaspora remittances have grown to become Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner, largely contributing to the country’s forex reserves aimed at stabilising the shilling.

The Government of Kenya has over the years recognised the importance of the contribution of the Kenyan Diaspora to the economy and development in general.  Kenya’s Economic Blue Print “Vision 2030” considers diaspora remittances as one of the flagship projects.

Both the Foreign Policy and Diaspora Policy underscore the importance of Government’s engagement with Kenyan Diaspora.

 

 

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Virtual Jamhuri Day 2020 Celebrations for Kenyans in the Diaspora -London/Rome/Paris
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