From: Shem Ochuodho
Many thanks, Nd. Robin.
Yes, Diasporians, Friends and Relatives of Diaspora (which we all are) are encouraged to participate at the forthcoming two days’ landmark Diaspora conference tomorrow Thursday and Friday at the Safari Park Hotel. H.E, the President and other senior government officials are expected to grace the event.
The Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), including its affiliate member organizations Kenya Diaspora Initiative (KDI) and the Diaspora Investment Club (DICL) are co-organizers of the event, alongside GoK (OP and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the private sector, including Nation Media, KQ, Safari Park Hotel, etc.
Despite Diaspora being treated in the periphery and consequently, being misunderstood, we are as much part of the Kenyan psyche as any other citizen. Apart from being nearly 10% of the total population (at an [under-]estimated 3 million), its economic contribution is even more significant. On average, Diaspora has been remitting about US$ 1 billion per year into Kenya’s economy over the past 10 years or so. In 2010 there was a spike to US$ 1.8 billion according to CBK and World Bank figures. Last year (2012), it is reported to have been US$ 2.6 billion, being 4 times more than tourism (wrongly considered the highest forex earner) at US$ 700 million a year!
The remittance figure for last year (~ KSh 225 billion) is about a quarter of Kenya’s total annual national budget, and by far more than all development assistance (from Chinese, Americans, British, etc all combined) as well as the total average annual foreign direct investment (FDI). And this excludes remittances through informal channels as well as those from “Diaspora corporates” (like Equity, KCB, KQ, etc which trade in other countries and bring in earnings), all which could possibly double the value of actual total remittances. Even if some of it goes into ‘family’, it still plays an important national role. Yet Diaspora’s role transcends way beyond voting numbers and remittances – into Diaspora diplomacy, sport, culture, technology & skill transfer, investment and trade, labour export, etc.
Aren’t these reasons enough to come and join Diaspora tomorrow and Friday? You will also have the opportunity to test-drive the ‘next big thing’, m-kura. It allows you to simply sambaza your vote instead of standing on a queue for 3-4 hours in a hot sun or rain! If you want to access it in advance and you have Android phone or similar, simply search among ‘Google Apps’ or “Appstore” and download. Look for “m-kura”.
Reserve early to avoid any disappointments. Kind regards,
On Wednesday, 18 December 2013, 11:12, Robinson Gichuhi wrote:
Greetings to all our friends and comrades within the Kenya Diaspora Alliance framework
Dear Diasporan !
This is your Special Invitation
Following urgent and special negotiations between KDA and the organizers of the Kenya Diaspora Initiative, arrangements have been made to make pricing incentives for those who would like to attend the conference (starts tomorrow) while still supporting the strategic initiatives of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance.
For those who are ready to pay the Kshs. 5,500 attendance fee, 50% of that fee will be credited to the KDA Program Account to support the push for voting in 2017 and other office expenses as we strengthen the Nairobi Secretariat. KDA operations have been supported by personal initiatives to date but the expenses are weighing down on co-conveners and it is critical that you support the cause to ensure that your diaspora objectives are achieved.
To purchase a ticket, please call Wanjiru Mbugua on +254722337845 and she will be able to take payment on behalf of KDI/Diamond Media. When making payment, please indicate that you are an affiliate or member of KDA.
More information on the conference: http://www.jambonewspot.com/kenya-diaspora-homecoming-conference-december-19th-21st-2013/?fullweb=1
If you cannot attend the Nairobi conference, but would still lie to make a donation to KDA, please donate online at http://kenyadiasporaalliance.org/fundaising/ or contact Dr. Shem Ochuodho [+254725016679] to get an MPESA number for direct to bank (in Kenya) donations.
The future of Kenya depends on the the Diaspora. Take action today.
+1.636.344.0023 | Skype: robinsongichuhi