A section of Kenyans living abroad have announced the formation of a single umbrella body that is intended to unify the Kenyan Diaspora.
In a press release Tuesday, a team said to have been working on the proposal aimed at bringing together different groups understood by many to be engaged in duplication of efforts as far as Diaspora issues are concerned said they had formed a Global Confederation of Kenyan Diaspora Organisations.
They said the group’s formation was announced first in a presentation to the Kenyan Embassy in the United States during the Diaspora Conference that took place between December 14 and 15 in Washington DC.
“As organisations committed to empowering Diaspora Kenyans, we are able to accomplish so much more together than alone,” said Comfort Munoru Mwangi, the President of the Kenya Diaspora Development Collaborative (KDDC).
The team also announced that the new Diaspora Confederation would be officially launched at the Kenya Diaspora Global Summit scheduled for July 19-20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.
The Kenyan Diaspora, particularly in the US has hundreds of organisations all purporting to advance the Diaspora agenda. Disunity within the Diaspora came to the fore recently when the country was negotiating Dual Citizenship and Voting Rights for the estimated 3 million strong Diaspora community.
Most organisations advanced either group, tribal or sectarian interests instead of rights for entire Diaspora. In the end, the government and the IEBC locked out majority of the Diaspora in the voting process.
In her presentation of the paper entitled “Towards the Kenya Global Collaborative – Confederation of Kenyan Diaspora Organisations” during the Diaspora conference, Mwangi explained that the new alliance will be the “connecting arrow to the desired future where Kenyan Diaspora organisations, big or small, are connected under a global confederation, leading to the desired benefits of a vibrant, thriving and empowered community.
There are different types of Diaspora organisations that will constitute the confederation. Welfare organisations benefit directly from the global Benevolent Fund and the global Diaspora Crowd funding platform. Development organisations benefit directly from the proposed Kenya Diaspora Commission and Diaspora Investment Fund.
Faith-based religious groups have an extended outreach including remote ministering via electronic media while the Kenya Diaspora Women global network give support to Kenyan women who are residing outside Kenya. This includes situations of violence, abandonment as well as gender specific issues. Diaspora women groups are able to connect with women groups pursuing the same agenda across the globe.
Youth groups help orient Diaspora youth to Kenyan heritage and development processes including volunteerism, cultural awareness, Swahili proficiency and mutual support.
Student Groups connect students, mentors and even those who can lead students to scholarships and career paths while professional associations are able to connect with Diaspora groups pursuing the same agenda across the globe.
Business associations liaise with one another for mutual support, shared resources under the proposed Kenyan Diaspora global chamber of commerce.
There are also sporting, recreational and social associations and networks
Also proposed is a Kenya Diaspora Investment Fund with permanent revolving base of $10milllion to help Diaspora start-ups with loans. To be admitted to the confederation, the organisation must be legally registered and in good standing within its jurisdiction.