The UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched Send Money & Invest in Kenya: A Guide for Diaspora Remittances & Investments, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The booklet targets the Kenyan diaspora and provides tips for sending money home through safe, affordable and convenient channels. It also gives guidance on how local savings, payments, donations and investments can be made while abroad.
During the launch, Jane Mwangi, Managing Director of Diaspora Interlink, pointed to research which shows that Kenyans abroad often identify information gaps about affordable transfer channels and investment opportunities as key challenges. Fears of being defrauded also factor high in their concerns.
The guide addresses many of these concerns by providing tips and information, which cover sending money, making payments and investing in Kenya. A key theme in the guide is the role that technology is playing in increasing convenience, supporting autonomy and cutting down costs.
Washington Oloo, Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Directorate, stressed that diaspora remittances and other resources “are of immense importance to the Kenyan economy, with an estimated USD 1.6 billion remitted in 2015.” He highlighted that the Government of Kenya is committed to working with all stakeholders to empower Kenyans abroad to invest back home.
A wide variety of stakeholders attended the event, including diaspora organizations, the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), the GSMA Foundation, money transfer operators, commercial banks, research and policy outfits and Government of Kenya officials.
The guide was developed with the technical support of the ACP-EU Migration Action, an initiative launched by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IOM.