Two Kenyans clad in Maasai attire at the conference
By Bernard Kamiri
Last weekend, Kenyans held a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, whose objective was to help Kenyans in the Diaspora to invest back home. The event was sponsored by Equity Bank and Barclays Bank.
The chief guest was H.E Peter Ogego, Kenya’s ambassador to the US. Also in attendance were notable dignitaries of the Kenyan community, who included Hon. Finance Minister Mr. Kimunya, and Jimnah Mbaru, Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) Chairman.
H.E Peter Ogego told participants that under his new leadership, all Kenyans in the Diaspora were welcome to take advantage of the services offered by the Kenya embassy. He cautioned Kenyans against defining themselves in terms of ethnicity, saying that the times of tribalism were gone. He promised that his embassy was going to provide “mobile consular services. Story continues below ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking at the Conference, Mr. Kimunya askedKenyans in the Diaspora to come back home and invest wisely, especially in the areas of construction, IT and tourism.
“Don’t build huge houses in your rural areas where appreciation will take long. Bring them to towns where your investment will appraise with the growth of the economy,” he said. Mr. Kimunya encouraged conference attendees to compliment government efforts in tourism promotion by building tourist apartments, hostels, and other relevant boarding facilities. The Hon. Minister highlighted the major achievements of the current government, the most notable being high economic growth. He encouraged Kenyans to take advantage of the fast-growing economy by investing in viable projects in their country.
In his speech to the participants, Mr. Jimnah Mbaru said that the Nairobi Stock Exchange was comparable to the standards of the New York Stock Exchange, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He illustrated this by quoting data collected since 1993. He said that this information had provided him and his colleagues an insight into the huge growth in this important aspect of the private sector. He encouraged individual Kenyans to invest in the NSE, saying this was an opportune period of recovery for the sector. He said that investors who will have stocks by the time the country took the growth curve would enjoy enormous profits that would place them above medium class. He informed prospective investors about the legalities that NSE had adopted to ensure fair trade for CDS account holders. Mr. Mbaru told participants that all accounts were insured against loss.
Acknowledging the stiff competition from other banks and financial institutions, representatives from Equity Bank and Barclays Bank informed participants of new developments, among which were E-banking and improved customer care Intellectuals
Kenya’s intellectuals were also well represented. A number of Vice Chancellors and number of professors from reputable Kenyan Universities and institutes of higher learning were present at the event. The panel of intellectuals stressed the need for potential investors in the education sector, with the purpose of raising the standards of education in Kenya. They encouraged student/lecturer exchange programs, and collection of books and teaching guides for the enhancement of education in Kenya.