NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the Kenya Diaspora Policy as well as a new Foreign Policy, which seek to enhance the country’s engagement with other nations.
The President says the two policies will help the government put in place structures, programmes and incentives to attract and utilise qualified and skilled human resource drawn from Kenyans abroad.
Speaking during the launch at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, the president said through the Diaspora Policy, the country will develop and implement an Integrated Diaspora Information System.
“Kenyans are increasingly aware and proud of the important role they play in the region, and indeed throughout the world. We are an anchor for peace and security throughout our region, and in trade and investment. We are a gateway between Africa and the emerging economic powerhouses of Asia, plus the more traditional trading partners in Europe and North America,” he stated.
“We have redefined our foreign policy to ensure it properly supports robust reciprocal bilateral and multilateral relations in trade, taxation and investment.”
Among the wider objectives of the Diaspora Policy is to mainstream and empower Kenyans aboard to effectively make significant contributions to the development of the country.
“The main thrust of the policy, therefore, is to harness and maximize the potential of Kenyans abroad to contribute to Kenya’s transformation agenda while at the same time meeting their needs and expectations through a mutually beneficial and lasting partnership,” he stated.
The policy also seeks to mobilise Kenyans abroad to form, “town or country specific umbrella associations which have national outlook as well as regional and global umbrella associations for effective engagement and representation.”
It will also seek to enhance measures put to protect Kenyans living abroad.
“The Government will strengthen and enhance the capacity of Kenya missions abroad through deployment of additional staff to missions in countries with high concentration of Kenyans in order to effectively deal with diverse issues affecting Kenyans abroad,” he assured.
On the country’s foreign policy, the President says it seek to protect Kenya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, protect the image of the country and protect the interests of Kenyans abroad among other objectives.
He said the Foreign Policy is pegged on five pillars – economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy, environmental diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and Diaspora diplomacy.
The core of the economic diplomacy pillar, President Kenyatta said, is the search for a robust and sustained economic growth as envisaged by Vision 2030.
“While our economy was recently rebased making the country a middle-income country and the 9th largest economy in Africa, we know that too many of our people remain poor and lack opportunity. Economic diplomacy will form a critical part of our development push,” he said.