Ideas & Debate

Kenya stands to benefit from backing diaspora plans for investment saccos

President Uhuru Kenyatta visits Kenya-USA Diaspora Sacco stand at a past fair in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta visits Kenya-USA Diaspora Sacco stand at a past fair in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

I recently heard Simon Nyagah, vice chair of the Kenya-USA Diaspora Sacco, talk to a small gathering of government and private sector leaders about ways in which the Kenyans abroad can become much better organised and supported in contributing to the development of our economy, and I thought it would be good to share his proposals more broadly.

He spoke about the desire of the Kenyan diaspora to strengthen the government’s economic growth agenda, largely through the formation of the diaspora saccos that are being registered across the world.

What’s still missing though, he and his colleagues have seen, are policies, structures and programmes that can fully utilise the resources that can flow through these vehicles for the benefit of both the country and its diaspora community.

The proposed Diaspora Investment Programme is, therefore, about fostering a savings culture among Kenyans in the diaspora, while helping them to participate in the development of their motherland in a consolidated and effective way.