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Investment expo for Kenyans abroad

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – The Kenya Overseas Business Alliance (KOBA) is partnership with the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) to advise Kenyans in the Diaspora on the various investment opportunities available in the country.

KOBA Country Representative Geoffrey Kilonzo said on Wednesday that currently investments from the Diaspora were mainly concentrated in the real estate sector.

He argued that other opportunities abound in sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“We are creating a platform where the private sector and the government can meet the Diaspora to tell them which areas they can invest in Kenya,” Mr Kilonzo said.

According to Central Bank figures, Diaspora remittances in July amounted to $50.7 million (about Sh4.1 billion) which continue to track the average of $50 million per month since January 2008.

The statistics however show that most of the money goes towards consumption by relatives rather than solid investment.

Mr Kilonzo said a major hindrance to increased Diaspora investments has been the lack of an effective mode of remitting money and ensuring it goes to a profitable economic activity.

“When we talked to members in the Diaspora they said not all banks had a specific product that could facilitate their remittances to Kenya and were forced to send directly to relatives who do not necessarily share the same vision,” he said.

KOBA and KenInvest have organised the Kenya Diaspora Investment Expo to be held from October 1-3 in London.

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KenInvest Legal and Corporate Affairs General Manager Sheila Yieke said the Kenyan High Commission had organised the Expo to create linkages and foster relationships between Kenyan companies and those in the Diaspora.

“We are going to coordinate business-to-business meetings hence matchmaking both groups. We are also going to inform likely investors on the procedures they need to take when investing in the country,” Ms Yieke said.

The Expo will be held at the Cumberland Hotel in London and will be graced by several ministers.

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