Diaspora asks for new rules to help investment

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DIASPORA1912HKenyans living and working abroad have asked the government to put in place clear policies that will help their investments even as the African Union sets up a remittances advisory unit in Nairobi.

The union in February revealed plans to set up a Sh234 million secretariat by next year.

The unit is expected to put African countries in a better position to make remittance transfers cheaper, faster and safer.

The diaspora, therefore, wants the government to live up to its name by hastening reforms on existing policies and formulating new investment-focused ones.

Kenya Diaspora Association chairman Shem Ochuodho said the country beat Mauritius, Egypt and Djibouti in a campaign to host the remittance secretariat.

“We must, therefore, befit that status; Currently we do not have policies that dictate diaspora investments,” said Mr Ochuodho.

“Government has not yet made an effort to formalise diaspora policy paper drafted in 2011.”

INVESTING IN HOUSING

They want reforms made on the diaspora policy paper to allow the government to allocate 70 per cent collateral for diaspora investing in housing.

“We also want to enjoy the 30 per cent procurement tenders offered by government to minority groups,” said Mr Ochuodho on behalf of the diaspora.

The over three million Kenyans abroad now want speedy action on policies ahead of the secretariat set up.

The group is focused on tripling its remittances from the Sh10.4 billion made last month if the guidelines are formalised.

The diaspora says these policies, if put in place, will steer investments from them and triple remittances in a few years.

-nation.co.ke

Participants of the Kenya Diaspora Conference at the Safari Park Hotel on December 19, 2013. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | FILE

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