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State eyes policy change to tap Diaspora funds

 Monica Juma
Foreign Affairs Secretary Monica Juma. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya is reviewing its foreign policy to attract more Diaspora investments and make Kenyans abroad take up national roles at home.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Monica Juma said this was in realisation of the Diaspora community’s contribution via remittances to funding local investments and direct financial aid to families, which helps improve local livelihoods. “Professionals and skilled individuals living in the diaspora are a critical human capital asset to Kenya and we are actively engaging them with a view to enabling them take part in national development activities,” she said.

She was presiding over launch of a book, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, by Boaz Mbaya, a former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who also served as Kenya’s ambassador to France, Ethiopia and a permanent representative to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Kenya’s Diaspora community has recently increased involvement in matters investments in Kenya with many sinking billions of shillings in real estate developments and farming as well as running of restaurants in major towns.

According to World Bank 2018 data, Kenyans living abroad sent home more money than the rest of the East African Diaspora combined.