The Government is developing instruments of engagement to bolster relationship with the Kenyan Diaspora to enable them invest in key projects in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured.
President Kenyatta said the Kenyan Diaspora is considered the single biggest asset outside the country for the developmental roles they play through remittances.
The President spoke Wednesday night at a Kampala hotel when he met Kenyans living and working in Uganda. He said Kenyan Diaspora was the central pillar in the country’s foreign policy.
“You are the single largest contributor to the country’s development agenda through remittances and the face of Kenya in enhancing relations with the host countries. We as Government will continue to engage with you,” the President told Kenyan Diaspora.
The president, who is in Kampala for the Northern Corridor Integration projects 4th Tripartite Summit, said the instruments of engagement being put in place will enable the Diaspora to participate in key projects in roads and the energy sectors.
On the issue of Kenyans living abroad participating in the electoral process, the president affirmed that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is putting in place mechanisms to register all Kenyans including those in the Diaspora to enable them participate in the 2017 general elections.
President Kenyatta said registration of voters will be a continuous exercise to ensure that all Kenyans on attainment of 18 years are registered as voters to enable them exercise their democratic rights to elect leaders of their choice.
He said the government has made great strides in the last nine months in the removal of non-tariff barriers and other obstacles that increased the cost of doing business in the country.
“We prioritised removal of delays in cargo clearance at the port of Mombasa and the challenges of transporting it along the northern corridor as part of our contribution to promoting regional trade,” President Kenyatta said.
He allayed fears that the coming together of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan in infrastructure development would hurt the East Africa integration.
He said all the five East African Community member states are committed to integration and are focused in the objective of uniting the region for prosperity.
“We want a one united East Africa as unity is strength. Through integration, EA will be a giant among countries of the world,” he added.
President Kenyatta said the four countries came together to address their common unique needs and their unity is therefore not in any way meant to isolate Tanzania and Burundi or undermine the EAC integration process.
Fielding questions from Kenyans, President Kenyatta assured IDPs in Uganda that the government will facilitate them to return home and restart their lives.
He said, “The Ministry of Devolution is working with the National Treasury to set aside funds in the next financial year to incorporate IDPs in Uganda in the resettlement programme”.
He thanked the government of Uganda for hosting Kenyans displaced by the 2007 post-election violence for the last six years.
The chairman of the Association of Kenyans Living in Uganda Mr Isaac Kojwang thanked the president for pushing forward the EAC agenda and fast-tracking the integration agenda.