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Diaspora Agenda at Presidential Meeting in Washington, DC

 

 

Following an agenda-setting meeting with the Devolution CS, Ann Waiguru, on August 6th at Hay Adam's hotel, the following was presented as diaspora's collective agenda for the President's attention. 

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[Greetings/Protocol].

 

The Kenyan Community Abroad (KCA) is the oldest organization of Kenyans abroad, also the organization that got dual citizenship in the constitution. Together with other diaspora organizations in Europe, Asia and Africa, we form a federation that unites our common pursuits, namely, the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA). This should dispel the notion that Kenyans abroad are not organized. We squabble, but we’re heading in the right direction. I present the following issues as collectively agreed on in our meetings of diaspora representatives and professionals.

 

On diaspora voting: The KDA recently won a case in Kenyan courts that directed the IEBC to put in place comprehensive measures enabling all diaspora Kenyans to vote; thanks to the efforts of Dr. Shem Ochuodho, a founding member of KDA.

 

As you are aware, only 1% of diaspora Kenyans were enabled to vote in 2013. We trust that the IEBC will not appeal this decision because we are determined to exercise the most fundamental of our rights as citizens of Kenya, towards political development and expansion of democratic space.

 

Mr. President, we thank you for recognizing Kenyans as your 48th County when you addressed Kenyans in the UK last year. This recognition means a lot to us, and as long as the doors of engagement are fully open to us, we will not disappoint.

 

On diaspora representation: We’re grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that has worked with us to produce the Diaspora Policy. We look forward to putting the National Diaspora Council of Kenya in place, a measure that will begin to concretize our role in developing Kenya through investment and philanthropy.

 

This should eventually necessitate the expansion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. With the 48th County remitting $1.2 billion a year, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, this resource deserves strong and reliable pillars of representation, from executive to legislative, that can dedicatedly handle a vibrant diaspora investment industry in Kenya. Allow us to invest in building the roads, schools, hospitals, and yes, replace the American Peace Corps.

 

I’m sure, Mr. President, that with such a structure dedicated to diaspora, the remittances will quadrupled in 5 years because of the incentive to participate in nation-building and invest safely. It’s a proven formula, noting from countries that have formalized diaspora representation.  

 

On brain-banking: We have taken the important measure to build a database of diaspora Kenyans. This is primarily a voter’s database. It will however include a brain-bank of skilled Kenyans to allow for the reversal of brain-drain, and the government and private sector can tap into it. Even before its launching date, this facility has over a thousand signed up. We aim for a million by the end of the year.

 

The Kenya Scholars and Studies Association led by Dr. Kefa Otiso in Ohio is ready to  teach classes in Kenya online, mentor graduate students, and travel to Kenya to teach short courses. We also have diaspora initiatives such as SpotBeam ready to install tele-education equipment and software in rural schools.

 

On Diplomacy: We have thousands of Kenyan who are also American citizens. This makes them a great asset for you because their dedication is whole-heartedly to Kenya. Even when we complain against insecurity, corruption and biting poverty at home, and rightly so, we still invest our hearts and harvest in Kenya. Dual citizens have lobbying power in the US. There already exists a foundation for this, with a good number of savvy Kenyans who lobby Congress occasionally. We can influence policies on issues such as security, trade and tourism in favor of Kenya.  Put us to good use.

 

Finally, we’d like to recognize my fellow diaspora Kenyans, especially the leaders of various organizations that struggle to do meaningful work, amidst financial hardships, petty politics and personal struggle. Keep on. It’s for your work that we’re able to make a major difference in Kenya.

 

[Closing/Protocol]

 

Shukran,

 

Mkawasi Mcharo Hall 

KCA Board of Trustees

 

KCA Monthly Statement: Strategies for Lasting Security in Kenya

 

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Final National Diaspora Policy Revised

 

July 10, 2014

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Kenya DiasporaPolicy is a product of a highly participatory and inclusive consultative process which brought together stakeholders with long standing and solid knowledge and expertise on Diaspora issues. The Policy therefore benefited from views and input from relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Diaspora Associations, private sector, civil society, NGOs and development partners. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services played a lead role in the development of the Policy. Kenyans abroad were ably represented by Diaspora Associations such as the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) and the Kenyan Community Abroad (KCA) . Access complete Policy here (PDF)

 

Position Open: Executive Director Internship

@diasporakenya

 

 

KCA Welcomes Its 2014 Interns

 

The KCA Board is happy to welcome its summer Interns, Ms. Faith Thanji, Communications and Public Relations; and Ms. Elizabeth Ndinda, Research and Digital Media.

 

Ms. Thanji is a graduate student at the AQ Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University. She also comes to us with invaluable experience in mass communication in Kenya and working with the IEBC in the registration of voters. Among other things, she will assist us in ensuring our efforts to establish voting mechanisms, a major undertaking in the works, are realized. 

 

Ms. Ndinda is an International Relations major at Coppin State University, MD. Her interest in historical research and the use of digital media will help KCA with diligent research on information leading to diaspora's informed response on current affairs and formulation of diaspora policy.  She will also assist in expanding our reach through digital and social media, both to the diaspora and to digital platforms the government has set up for Kenyans abroad.

 

KCA is partner to efforts by various diaspora organizations united towards common goals. We trust that our efforts in building our organization's capacity will help us all achieve these goals. At the forefront of shared goals is establishing diaspora voting platforms and getting diaspora voter registration underway. We believe that welcoming our summer interns will be beneficial to all of us as diaspora. Please join us in welcoming them.

 

We also ask that the diplomatic offices accord them the help they need as they serve out their internship. It’s our collective duty to mentor Kenya’s young leaders who will strengthen our institutions in the present and in future.

 

KCA is re-opening the search for an Executive Director Intern. See requirements below. Please send your resume and cover letter to:

The KCA BoT, info@kenyansabroad.org; cc Mkawasi Mcharo Hall, mkawasi@yahoo.com 

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Executive Director Intern

        

         Location: Work from home, with supervision and mentorship by a global Board of Trustees in various professions.

       Eligibility: Must be a diaspora Kenyan.

       Benefits: Non-paying. Interns leave with great recommendations, experience growing a non-profit, excellent connections, and inspired towards public service, diplomacy and organizational management.

        Interns are directly answerable to the KCA Board of Trustees.

 

Responsibilities:

1.      Fundraising, fundraising, fundraising

2.      Meeting with envoys, policymakers and other diaspora leaders

3.      Developing and implementing KCA’s signature projects

4.      Attending project-related and policy meetings on behalf of KCA

5.      Building bridges with other diaspora organizations

6.      Attracting new  and high-target KCA membership

 

Qualifications:

1.      On-going studies in the relevant field, e.g., Organizational Management OR great interest in working in the leadership of a nonprofit organization.

2.      Deep interest and enthusiasm in diaspora matters and Kenyan current affairs

3.      Enthusiasm in attracting resources and accomplishing project goals

4.       Good communication skills, both writing and speech

5.      A team-builder, peace-maker in difficult times and a decisive leader

 

KCA signature projects:

The selected candidates will help to reinvigorate the organization through implementing and maintaining KCA’s flagship projects. These include: KCA Excellence Award, KCA Annual General Meeting and KCA Nyumbani Children’s Christmas Fund. Others are the Kenya Presidential Debates Institute, still in its formative stage.

 

Partnerships:

Executive Director Intern will help the BoT in maintaining and initiating partnerships. KCA believes in project-based partnerships with like-minded organizations to help achieve common goals. KCA is partner to the Partnership League for Africa’s Development (PLAD), an association of African diaspora leaders; and Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), a federation of Kenya diaspora organizations.

 

Diaspora Diplomacy:

KCA seeks to renew and grow a robust field of Diaspora Diplomacy and Advocacy with our envoys and policy makers in Washington DC and beyond, towards meeting the aspirations of the greater diaspora and the development of Kenya.

 

KCA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), in good standing, registered in Washington, DC and Rhode Island.

 

 

We need a diaspora head-count

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ANNOUNCEMENT: ANNOUNCEMENT: ANNOUNCEMENT

KCA Leadership Elections coming soon

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Diaspora Count and Representation

 

March 2014

 

The Kenyan diaspora has now come of age to warrant need for legislated representation. This requires political action. But what is diaspora representation? Drawing from a framework in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, it would entail:

 

  1. Some party that is representing 

Those representing diaspora include diaspora associations and their elected representatives; individuals who have acquired recognition as advocates of diaspora affairs by virtue of their activities in service to the diaspora; and offices and officials that have been empowered up by the government to serve the diaspora. In their separate capacities, these representative parties remain lacking either in resources, sustainable leadership, knowledge of who they represent, and legally empowering policies.

 

Legislated representation will help regulate the functioning of all these entities so that duplication of effort is eliminated, effective leadership is empowered, the flow of resources into legitimate organizations is increased, and tangible results from the representative parties are evaluated. Read more. 

 

Uhuru Government's Opportunity to End Blackout on Diaspora

One thing that seems to repeat itself is the continued blackout on diaspora, a legacy carried on from the previous government to the new one. Diaspora still remains a distant constituency of “those guys”, easily shoved and shafted, at best, thrown token representation.

In the past five years of the previous government, there was a diaspora representative at the Prime Minister’s office and another at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Whatever the efforts of these officials, neither one of them recorded any meaningful gains for the diaspora. For their high-profile and strategic placement, they were both a total let-down.  Read More

 

African diaspora remittances outweigh Western aid

Africans are helping themselves more than aid workers are, according to new research.

Analysis of cash flows by Hong Kong-based Ghanaian academic Adams Bodomo shows that Africans living outside the continent send more money home to their families than is sent by traditional Western aid donors in what is called Official Development Assistance (ODA).  Read more

 

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