The Kenya USA Diaspora Savings and Credit Cooperative organisation commonly known as the Diaspora Sacco, is set to hold a special annual general meeting to among other things, ratify its partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
The meeting scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia is a culmination of intense negotiations between the Sacco based in Atlanta, Georgia and KCB.
According to sources, the partnership was mooted last December and ever since, the two parties have been working on the legal aspects of the partnership.
The parties are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has been under development and negotiations since. It is believed that if the partnership comes into force, it would open up KCB’s financial muscle to the Diaspora who are keen to invest in Kenya but who have had challenges accessing loans.
“Once the partnership is formalised, the Diaspora who are members of the Sacco would be able to access a wide variety of loans that KBC offers ranging from personal loans, group loans, mortgage and investment loans. We are very excited to partner with the Diaspora Sacco because I know the partnership will be of mutual benefit”. Said Vincent Aberi, Head of Diaspora Banking, KCB.
In a statement to the press, Sacco board member, Ralph Kilondu said during the AGM, the Sacco will unveil some of its products that consist of several acres of land along the Isinya-Konza bypass apart from its partnership with KCB.
“We are convening to appraise our members of the recent developments in terms of new investment opportunities as well as our strategic partnership with KCB”, he said.
Mr Kilondu disclosed that KCB’s top leadership and Ministry of Cooperative Development officials were expected in Atlanta for the meeting.
“This is the moment the Kenyan Diaspora in the United States has been waiting for. The board has worked tirelessly to bring products and services that have eluded them for a long time. Investment opportunities will be delivered with efficiency and will be guaranteed”, he said.
Expected guests at the AGM include the Senior Assistant Commissioner of Co-operatives Mr Stanley Ongeti and the Chief Business Officer & Managing Director Sam Makome, among others.
“We envision a new organised form of channelling funds for development purposes and opportunities for engaging our government through provision of funds for financial instruments that include the Eurobond in the very near future”, he added.
The Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco is probably the first co-operative society that the Kenyan government has registered for Kenyans resident in the US. With partnership with KCB, one of the largest banking institutions in East Africa, membership to the Sacco is expected to rise exponentially because the bank would guarantee easy access to loans.
Angela Karanja, a board member, disclosed that soon after the AGM the Sacco will embark on a roadshow to popularise the Sacco and sign up new members.
“We will be visiting cities like Boston, Massachusetts, Dallas and Houston in Texas, St. Louis in Missouri,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Akamba community in New England will be holding the 2nd annual Akamba Cultural Festival this Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Best Western Hotel, 1 Raining Road, Woburn, Massachusetts, starting at 5pm.
According to Carolyn Irene Musyimi, one of the organisers, the fun filled evening is meant to celebrate the cultural beauty that is inherent among the Akamba people.
“We will also be raising funds to support development efforts in the three counties in Ukambani. It will be part of our efforts to give back to our community”, she said.
Professor Makau Mutua is expected to give the keynote address. Guests will be treated to Akamba traditional dances and foods.