From here in Washington, D.C., a most sincere thank you to all of you that attended the Kenya Diaspora Conference (2011) this past weekend at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  It was our first and therefore, inevitably, had some glitches.  The feedback we have so far received has been overwhelmingly positive.  Again, thank you all very much.

The Conference was not only well attended (approximately 600 participants over the 2 days!), but had representation from all the regions in the USA.  And very importantly, the Conference had a most impressive representation from key Government Ministries, the private sector and NGO sectors in Kenya.  All this indicating just how important the Diaspora is to Kenya’s Development Agenda.  Please note that this inaugural conference was attended by six (6) Permanent Secretaries of the Government of Kenya, four (4) Heads of Parastatals, some six (6) CEO’s from leading companies,, five (5) civil society leaders, and the Chairpersons of four (4) most important Commissions – Law Reform, Commission for Implementation of Constitution (CIC), Interim Electoral Commission (IIEC) and, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).  Unprecedented!

The Diaspora Conference aimed to highlight Kenya’s Vision 2030, and the numerous opportunities it presents to the Diaspora.  Those opportunities for Diaspora engagement (social, economic and political) were deliberated upon in plenary and various workshop sessions.  Attendance was most impressive at all sessions!

The Kenya Embassy in Washington, D.C. wishes to re-affirm its commitment to facilitating dialogue with our Diaspora in America.  Further, through events such as the just concluded Conference, we hope to build unity and cohesion among Kenyans, and focus our energies towards the vision of a prosperous and progressive nation.  Again, I humbly request that those of you who wish to be a part of the solution join us as we work towards establishing (and building upon) structures that will enable us to achieve the greatest impact, both at home, and here in America.

As mentioned during the weekend, the Diaspora Conference is only the start of a process.  The discussions were numerous (and sometimes hurried!!) and lively.  Our Moderators and Panelists did a splendid job, and confirmed what we are capable of.  Some seeds were planted, and are likely to bring forth some fruits.  The Embassy team (and those who helped in the planning) are humbled by your enthusiasm and participation at the Conference.  Please continue with us on this journey.

It is my sincere hope that you all found the Conference useful, and that you were able to take advantage of the many opportunities during the weekend.  It is also my hope that you found Kenya’s Vision 2030 to be a Vision towards which we can all channel our energies and resources.

Thank you again for your participation and support of the inaugural event.  We are very much looking forward to seeing you at the next Conference in 2012.

Tujivunie kuwa Wakenya!

Elkanah Odembo





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