NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- President Uhuru Kenyatta has reaffirmed his government’s commitment of putting in place measures to ensure that Kenyans in the Diaspora vote in the next General Election.
Addressing Kenyans living in South Africa, President Kenyatta explained that time constraints and other logistical difficulties barred the Kenyan Diaspora from participating in the last General Election.
In the 2013 general election only those in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi voted.
He once again assured that his government will expedite the finalization of diaspora policy in order to facilitate investments and harness massive contribution of Kenyans abroad in the development of the country.
“You are aware that the Government has been developing a Diaspora Policy that will shape its engagement with you, with a view to meeting your needs and expectations in a mutually beneficial relationship,” the president said.
President Kenyatta challenged the County Governments to create innovative ways to attract Diaspora direct investments and to develop avenues through which Kenyans abroad can contribute to the formulation of their development plans.
He urged the Kenyans in the Diaspora to take advantage of investment opportunities unfolding in the Counties which are the new centers of development.
“In the new Constitutional dispensation, and in an effort to achieve the aspirations of this Policy, we seek to mainstream the Kenyan Diaspora into the national development agenda,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State reiterated his call to the Kenyan Diaspora to form strong associations which will not only assist the Government in engaging them but also help them lobby for their interests.
On security, President Kenyatta has once again reassured that his Government will take appropriate measures to eliminate all threats and agents of terror targeting the public and the country at large.
Underscoring the importance of peace and security to economic prosperity in the country, the President said Kenyans will no be able to achieve the aspired levels of economic development without the safety of its citizens and the security of their investments.
“It is for this reason therefore that the Government has expended huge efforts and resources on peace building and peacemaking,” the Head of State who is in South Africa attending the World Economic Forum on Africa said.
“The importance of peace and security to economic prosperity cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, we cannot achieve the levels of economic development that we aspire without ensuring the safety of our people and the security of our investments,” President Kenyatta noted.
Recalling his recent visit to the United Kingdom where he attended the London Conference on Somalia, President Kenyatta said the stakeholders agreed on a raft of measures aimed at stabilizing the war torn country.
The Head of State further said Kenya will continue to be engaged in the Somali process in the interest of its national security.
He said: “We will also continue to support and participate in the initiatives of the IGAD, the AU and the international community in restoring peace and security in the Central, Eastern and horn of Africa regions.”
With regard to regional integration, President Kenyatta said his Government will continue to support regional economic integration initiatives across the continent.
Noting that the future of Africa lies in greater integration, President Kenyatta said time was ripe for the African economic renaissance, stressing the need for the African countries to join hands to hasten the process.
“I believe that the future of Africa lies in greater integration as this will widen markets for goods and services. This, in turn, will enhance intra-Africa trade, facilitate generation of wealth and uplift the lives of our people,” President Kenyatta added.