Kenyans in diaspora organise investment conference for investors

Chairman of Kenya Diaspora Alliance Dr Shem Ochuodho.

What you need to know:

  • This comes in the wake of fresh focus on investment opportunities in devolved units by the Kenya Diaspora Alliance.
  • The alliance has also announced plans to engage county chiefs through the Council of Governors (CoG).

Investors seeking to tap into the diaspora remittances into the country are set to converge at an investment conference organised by Kenyans living abroad next week.

The conference, set to be held between December 7th and 9th at Ole Sereni Hotel seeks to equip Kenyans abroad with information to enable them to identify and evaluate investment opportunities despite limitations of distance.

This comes in the wake of fresh focus on investment opportunities in devolved units by the Kenya Diaspora Alliance, the organisation of Kenyans living abroad.

Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) Chairman Dr Shem Ochuodho on Thursday announced plans to engage county chiefs through the Council of Governors (CoG), saying counties offer amazing opportunities that are not exploited.

“Areas of food security and sustainable green future in counties are our focus because they are the next frontier in revitalizing rural economies not only in Kenya but the whole continent,“ Dr Ochuodho said.

Economic growth

The alliance will this year deepen its conversation on how they can leverage diaspora resources for the economic growth of the country by engaging different economic and remittance experts as well as drivers and stakeholders in county, national, regional and continental development to speak about the opportunities available for diasporas to invest back home.

The leadership of Kenyans abroad notes that even with the limitless value in investing back at home, diasporas must be well-informed about the intricacies of putting their money in various sectors to avoid making poor decisions that may result in financial loss.

The alliance is currently partnering with private and public developers to implement development projects in Kisii, Busia, Siaya and Taita Taveta counties.

The organisation is optimistic of Kenya Kwanza administration’s promise of availing opportunities that will enable remittances to be invested directly into projects. The creation of a new portfolio on diaspora affairs has given Kenyans abroad who are seeking to invest back at home fresh impetus of focusing on areas of affordable housing, food security, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.

“Diasporas have ever wanted to invest in almost all sectors of the economy be it agribusiness or healthcare facilities such as cancer centres. What we have always wanted put in place are pro-diaspora policies that I believe the new Government will act upon,” Dr Ochuodho said.

Diaspora remittance

Top government officials will grace the event including governors. Those attending will have the opportunity to hear the government's position and policies. Dr Ochuodho revealed they are expecting about 50 corporates to attend, among them tier one and two financial banks as well as real estate companies, tech companies as well as security or stock brokerages and academic institutions among others.

The previous regime had tried to woo Kenyans in the diaspora to invest in government securities, by having the Central Bank of Kenya focus on lengthening the maturity period of treasury bonds (T-bonds). T-bills have a maturity period of 91 days, 182 days and 364 days, while the maturity range of T-bonds is between five and 30 years.

Most Treasury bonds in Kenya have a fixed rate — meaning the interest rate determined at auction is locked in for the entire life of the bond — making them predictable and long-term sources of income that offer interest payments every six months.

The Central Bank of Kenya in June this year reported that diaspora remittance inflows to Kenya as at May 2022 totaled US$ 339.7 million compared to US$ 315.8 million in May 2021, a 7.6 per cent increase. According to the CBK report, the cumulative inflows for the 12 months to May 2022 totaled US$ 3,992 million compared to US$ 3,365 million in the same period in 2021, an increase of 18.6 per cent.

The convention brings together the largest assembly of diaspora, business leaders, opinion shapers, Government representatives, philanthropists and industry captains.