Govt, banks plan to reduce money transfer costs for Kenyans in Diaspora


The government will work with banks to reduce the cost of sending money back home for Kenyans in the Diaspora, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

“The technology is available. What we need is to ensure that our (Kenyan) banks can work with other countries where Kenyans are employed to see how they can send their money home at the least possible expense,” he said.

The President was speaking to Kenyans in Qatar on Tuesday evening during the second day of his State visit to the Gulf State.

There about 7,000 Kenyans living and working in Qatar.


Mr Kenyatta also noted the importance of the office established at the Foreign Affairs Ministry that will deal with Diaspora issues.

He said plans are underway to digitise issuance of identity cards and ensure children automatically get certificates at birth.

“I am confident that once we implement digitisation, we will eliminate the challenges faced when applying for ID cards and passports,” he said.

President Kenyatta also assured Kenyans that the government will ensure that unscrupulous employment agents face the law.

“This is something that we are taking seriously and we are putting mechanisms to protect the interests of Kenyans working outside our borders,” he said.

He urged the Kenyan Diaspora to utilise their exposure in foreign countries to encourage unity.


“If we shun tribalism and divisive politics, we will be able to build a country that we will all be proud of,” President Kenyatta said.

According to him, Kenyans should learn from Qatar where mega projects such as the multi-billion-dollar Doha port were implemented devoid of retrogressive politics.

“At home, I have tried to build the Stand Gauge Railway and a year is almost over yet we have not moved because of constant bickering. Qatar started their new project the other day and they are already almost done,” he said.

Kenya is also keen on setting up ties with Qatar to speed up economic growth and to achieve Vision 2030, we need to partner with countries that share a similar vision, he added.

“We are here to look for investment opportunities and see how we can encourage Qatar to invest in Kenya,” the President said.


He noted that Kenya is exploring resources such as oil and gas and Qatar’s expertise is prudent in the exercise. “We want the resources that we are now discovering to be used for the benefit of our nation and for our people,” President Kenyatta said.

On insecurity in Somalia, the President said Kenya seeks to work closely with Qatar to deal with the issue and create an environment for Somalis to settle and engage in productive activities instead of warfare.

“This will not only benefit them as a country but all of us in the region. We need to partner with other nations to achieve that goal,” he said.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar Galma Boru and the representative of Kenyan nationals in Qatar Wilson Gichuki were also at the meeting.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret with Kenyans at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha, Qatar.  PhotoPSCU

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