With conservative estimates placing the value of Kenyan Diaspora remittances at $500 million, the Kenya Diaspora Investment Forum Ltd (KDIF) has unveiled strategies to double such remittances through sustained awareness and direct engagement platforms with Kenyans living abroad.
And to kick off the awareness raising events, KDIF has confirmed that a comprehensive investment forum is on the cards. The 2nd major Kenya Diaspora Forum Investment conference which is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates and will be held in London, UK mid next month to rally Kenyans living in Britain and other European countries to consider local investment options.
Speaking in Nairobi when he confirmed the details of the conference, Kenya Diaspora Forum Limited Managing Director Julius Kaberere explained that the forum has been jointly organized by the Kenya Diaspora Investment Forum groups, with the support of various government organs.
“Kenyans living abroad are keen in investing locally but are somehow bereft of credible investment options and avenues as they are rarely targeted directly by investment sponsors and such a conference will help to bridge the gap between them and Kenyan investment sponsors such as property developers and banks,” Kaberere explained.
He added: “by providing a face to face interactive session, Kenyans living abroad will easily manage to access invaluable information to enable them better reach their investment decisions.
Key speakers identified to address the delegates will include senior government officials, and representatives drawn from major investment houses in Kenya, including the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Kenya Investment Authority, and several banks among others.
According to Africa Recruit surveys conducted between 2003 and 2005 commissioned by the DFID, African countries have become more heavily reliant on the stable foreign direct investment and the increasing remittances from its indigenous population abroad as a Source of finance.
In 2002 remittances to Africa accounted for 15pc ($12b) of the total remittances to the developing countries ($80b). For Kenya, Kenyan Diaspora remits more than $500million every year.
Majority of the remittances were sent from Europe, North America and Asia reflecting the migration pattern of African’s eg North African’s migrating to Asia countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Sub-Sahara African’s migrating to Europe and North America.
Top African receiving countries are Egypt ($3.4b), Morocco ($2.2b), Nigeria ($1.7b), and Tunisia ($0.8bn). In 2002 remittances to Nigeria ($2b) accounted for 5pc of the GDP playing a large part of the economy positively helping the balance of payments.
More than 70,000 or more highly qualified Africans leave their country of origin annually for western countries. It’s estimated that there is in excess of 150,000 Kenyans living and working in the UK alone.