by Peter Orengo
Kenya’s community in foreign countries is targeting to invest in marginalized communities like Wajir and Kisumu.
Called the Kenya Diaspora Alliance, leader of the foreign communities, have announced that investing in frontier counties that have suffered marginalization and under-development like Wajir and Kisumu is very key to improving lives.
Shem Ochuodho, the Chair of the Alliance, said the investment will be made in several areas, among them health, agribusiness, and manufacturing to spur growth in regions where development continues to lag.
Ochuodho added that the Alliance is collaborating with different arms of government and appropriate partners to reach the goal.
Already, a task team between KDA and Kenya Medical Association, Kenya Health Federation, National Nurses Association of Kenya, and appropriate arms of government, this Task Team has been formed to implement the investment towards the health sector.
“In the same vein, Water and Agribusiness Task Teams are also under formation, working in collaboration with appropriate partners like World Bank, FAO Kenya, UNESCO, Cooperative University, UN-AFICS Kenya,” Ochuodho said.
A health task team has been formed in partnership with Chandaria Foundation and diasporas in the US to establish a Cancer Centre in Kisumu. “Our plan is to establish 4-5 Cancer Centres in different parts of the country over the next 7-10 years. After Kisumu, we move to Wajir,” Ochuodho said.
Wajir county secretary Abdullahi Hassan says such an investment would favour a county such as Wajir which experiences low literacy rates and poor access to health, among others.
Commenting on the expected investment, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution Eugene Wamalwa said the government will ensure there is a conducive environment to encourage investors.
“What we are looking at as National Government is to see how we can create a conducive environment for you to invest back home and your commitment to growing the 300 billion to 500 billion. As we plan to have changed in our country,” Wamalwa said.
This comes at a time when diaspora remittances have surpassed tourism and agriculture to become the county’s leading foreign exchange earner.
Kenya’s Diaspora remittances in 2018 stood at Sh280 billion, eclipsing the Sh242 billion sent to the rest of Eastern Africa — comprising Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.