Kenya’s International Trade Ministry expects to see the country’s diaspora remittances – money sent home from abroad – increase by 25% to $2.5 billion in 2018, up from Ksh195 billion in 2017.
Ababu Namwamba, Kenya’s Chief Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the nation’s Government was working to harness the collective collateral of the Diaspora’s business contacts, networks, opportunities, successful ventures, influence and power developed over time to leverage the East African country’s position and interests in the globe.
Namwamba was speaking at the 2nd Kenya-Botswana Diaspora Investment Forum, an event held this weekend in Gaborone, Botswana.
“More than the economic capital you provide through remittance, you possess a wealth of experience and know-how in many disciplines that would be of great beneficial back home and even your current host country,” he told Diasporians.
He said efforts by Kenya’s government to engage the Diaspora has borne good results exemplified by growing Diaspora remittances, currently estimated at Ksh222 billion ($2.2 billion), the largest foreign exchange earner ahead of Tourism and Horticulture.
It is estimated that if this trend continues, remittances could increase from Ksh195 billion (1.9 billion) in 2017 to Ksh250 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2018, an increase of 25%, accounting for 3.7% of the country’s GDP.
Namwamba assured the Kenya Diaspora and all potential investors that Kenya was a strong trajectory of political stability with all key economic and social fundamentals looking upwards.
“The political situation is calm and positive with His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto firmly in charge. Kenya today is a land of warm handshakes and hugs. Your investment will be in a very safe and secure environment. So even out here please keep shaking hands and hugging as you increase your remittances and investment portfolios back in Kenya,” he said.