7 April 2011

Kenya-Investments: Government Targets More Diaspora Investments

The government plans to partner with financial institutions and organisations of Kenyans living abroad to pull together their remittances for gainful investments. The project will focus on diaspora direct investments, capital markets, tourism and nostalgic trade, retirement and savings for the estimated 2.5 million Kenyans abroad. "We need to come up with customised investment opportunities targeting the diaspora, this will enhance their participation in economic development," said Richard Onyoka, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs. Kenyans living abroad have in cases been lured in to fraudulent investments channels sometimes losing their entire life savings.
According to Central Bank Kenya figures, diaspora remittances have been growing by the year hitting $642 m(53.27bn) last year. But the most recent World Bank and African Development Bank survey figures show an even higher amount of $1.8 bn(149.4bn) sent home in 2010 by Kenyans living abroad.Majority of kenyans abroad reside in North America and Europe."Financial institutions should work together to develop a reliable, unified money transfer system," said Onyoka while launching a capacity building project for diaspora last Friday.

The ministry is now in the process of creating a diaspora virtual network hub to facilitate flow of information between government and those living outside the country. The capacity building project is expected to start in July and last for 18 months."Kenya has a diaspora full of professionals; the government is putting in place policies that will enable the full use of their expertise including technology transfers to support the country,"

In the Vision 2030 blueprint, diaspora has been placed as one of the flagship projects under the financial sector. The government also ratified the amendment to the AU Constitutive act that invites and encourages the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of the continent in building the African Union.

The World bank report titled Leveraging Migration for Africa: Remittances, Skills, and Investments shows African countries received US $406 bn( approx 33.7 trillion) in diaspora remittances last year. while this is the largest net inflow of foreign funds after Foreign Direct Investment.

However most of this money is directed towards consumption by the recipients rather than savings and investments. the minister said those in diaspora have shown interest in the stocks market, unit trusts, real estate and retirement schemes, urging credible institutions in the sectors to engage them.

Winfred Kagwe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your opinion is important and welcome!!