Kenyans in Diaspora to be protected – Saitoti



Kenyans working abroad will now have recourse if they are subjected into servitude or other forms of exploitation, the ministry of foreign affairs has said.
The plight of Kenyans living and working in foreign countries particularly those in the Middle East has been an issue of great concern, said acting minister foreign affairs Prof George Saitoti.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that the Ministry has been negotiating with several countries to put in place arrangement to ensure all Kenyans are properly treated, in this respect, a Memorandum of Understanding on Labour with the Government of Qatar to establish the minimum standards and conditions of work for Kenyans, particularly professionals has been finalized,” said Saitoti.
Saitoti said a similar arrangement of a Memorandum of Understanding on Labour is under discussion with the Government of Saudi Arabia and will extend to other countries in the Middle East. 
Saitoti made the remarks in Nairobi during the official launch of the five-year strategic plan of the ministry of foreign affairs. He said the Strategic Plan is a tool that will guide the ministry’s conduct of Kenya’s foreign relations by highlighting strategies and priorities in addressing the objectives of the country’s Foreign Policy.
He said the Kenyan Diaspora, is an important agenda at both the national and global levels for the Ministry.
“Vision 2030 places the Diaspora as one of the flagship projects under the financial sector, while the new constitution provides for dual citizenship and voting rights also,” said Saitoti.
He said the Ministry has been working with other stakeholders to develop a policy that will facilitate engagement with Kenyans in the Diaspora with a view to tapping into their skills, expertise, and other resources in order to harness them national development.
“Kenya needs to expand its presence in the international affairs and with growing number of highly trained and experienced manpower, the Ministry continues to lobby for the appointment of Kenyans to key positions in international organizations,” the minister said.
Noting that the strategic plan places heavy emphasis on economic diplomacy, Saitoti said the ministry would open missions in strategic countries.
“Kenya’s new location for missions will be influenced by the potential for growth of our exports. That explains the reason why the Kenya Consulate in Juba will be elevated to a fully-fledged Embassy when Southern Sudan becomes a fully independent state next month,” said Saitoti.
Regarding border security, Saitoti said the ministry plays a critical role in securing the country’s international borders through diplomacy.
“These issues have been a constant source of concern to us, and we are pleased to report that discussions between Kenya and Uganda Ministers are planned to be held early July while similar meetings have been held with the Government of Ethiopia with a view to resolving the cross-border tensions. As regards Somalia, Kenya remains in the forefront in seeking stability for that country, and continues to lobby the international community to actively support peace efforts there,” said Saitoti.
 Source- Kenyans in Diaspora to be protected – Saitoti

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