Kenya Diaspora Investment Conference 2023: What\’s in it for You?

Many people go abroad with the dream of improving their lives and contributing to positive change back home. However, these aspirations frequently collide with challenging environments, ineffective systems and sometimes hit by the harsh realities of unfulfilled expectations of a land of milk and honey.

The Kenya Diaspora Investment Conference 2023 is ongoing, with President H.E Dr. William Ruto setting the tone. It is a gathering of government dignitaries, high-ranking entrepreneurs, thought leaders, both local and international, icons like Ferdinand Omanyala. English there, is of nose.

Just a day after the President declared Kenya a visa-free entry country for all starting January 2024, the conference aims to brainstorm solutions for Kenyans keen on establishing investments back home, because east or west, home is the best. On the first day of the conference, Alex Chamwada, a journalist specializing in diaspora stories, shared success stories of Kenyans flourishing abroad and those establishing businesses in Kenya, painting a picture of hope, prosperity and great opportunity.


The conference sessions were exceptionally rich, engaging, and informative. Attendees shared their experiences and proposed steps for the government to enhance their success abroad and bring prosperity home. Amb. Thomas Kwaka, known for his eloquence and insight, adeptly moderated most of the sessions.

Seated beside me was a person of high esteem, Amb. Josephine Ojiambo, a former UN ambassador. We concurred that despite individual efforts in investing back home, government intervention is crucial. She emphatically highlighted the need for increased government engagement with the Kenyan diaspora to facilitate their success. Her point resonated with many, striking a raw nerve in the room.

Over lunch, I caught up with James, he shared how he was almost taxed for his phone at the JKIA, which he had been using in the UK for over two years . Such tales do nothing but underscore the government\’s need to adopt a fair approach to taxation and improve how they communicate their policies to showcase goodwill and promote investment.

With deep frustration, another person shared that their company has been kept two years waiting for a license to establish a branch in Kenya. When will all our government services ever be convenient, free and efficient? How long will it take us before we shorten the queues? Is it possible that we can have heaven sent customer friendly staff and holy systems that just work? We really need such miracles soon!

Trust is emerging as a key issue, with stories of people being conned by even their relatives. It is a call to action by the government to regulation agencies brokering goods or services to Kenyans abroad. The government needs to also provide safe platforms for essential services.

Faith without action is dead. A delegate expressed skepticism about past forums; that she had attended many of such and nothing seemed to be changing. But hope flickered as MS. Roseline Njogu, the PS State Department of Diaspora assured that this time, recommendations would lead to necessary improvements and action.

In the midst of discussions dominated by those who have seen the light, we must also consider fellow Kenyans who have walked through dark tunnels abroad. We read and hear stories, and it\’s a conversation I eagerly await—specifically on diaspora welfare. The program indicates it\’s scheduled for Friday around 2 pm. I hope that during this time, we can engage in conversations leading to sustainable solutions for the challenges faced by our compatriots overseas.

Led by the President, the government of Kenya appears to be on a global marketing spree. Are we using the right approach? What insights can you provide to enhance our country\’s global outreach? Our team is participating in this conference and we anticipate to see you make your voice count.

In the quest for a better home, let\’s turn challenges into solutions together.

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