Kenya envoy to Canada urges Kenyans abroad to invest home

Kenya High Commissioner to Canada & Cuba, John Lanyasunya (2nd left) with other panelists at a Madaraka Day forum on June 3, 2016 in Ontario, Canada. PHOTO/ ESTHER WAMBUI

By Chris Wamalwa

Kenyans in the diaspora have been urged to invest back home as there are many opportunities being offered in the 47 counties.

The Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada John Lanyasunya told Kenyans living abroad that devolved units provide equal opportunity for them adding that borrowing rates in the US and UK have been lowered making it easier to get funds to invest in Kenyan counties.

“Kenyans living in North America find themselves working and living in substantially stable economies. The borrowing rates in both Canada and the US are currently at an all-time low. I therefore encourage you to take advantage of these low rates and borrow money from here and go and invest it at home,” said Mr Lanyasunya.

Speaking on Friday at the Novotel hotel, Mississauga, in Canada during a televised panel discussion on ‘Investing at Home and Abroad’ that brought together about 150 Kenyan professionals living in Canada, Mr Lanyasunya said almost every County in Kenya currently needs heavy investments in different areas of the economy such as infrastructure, health, education, hospitality and entertainment.

The panel discussion that was part of a weekend long series of activities was organized by the Kenyan Community in Ontario (KCO) in collaboration with Double Diamond Resorts.

It was held as part of the 53rd Madaraka Day celebrations.

The two main events — Business Networking forum held on Friday and the Madaraka Day Youth Awards held on Saturday — were both sponsored by Double Diamond, a US based company that specializes in the development of exclusive resort communities.

“While I applaud and appreciate the fact that you are investing in Double Diamond, I also want to encourage you to consider taking the same concept of exclusive resorts to Kenya so that even as you hold membership here, you have the option of enjoying the same facilities when you are at home,” he said.

Speaking at the same function, Double Diamond’s marketing manager in charge of International markets Mr Pete Tarutis said the company took pride in sponsoring Kenyan events because Kenyans living in the US constitute different foreign groups that have invested in their projects.

“That is the reason why we recently launched our products in Nairobi in April and we look forward to going back soon to among other things, open up a fully functional office in Nairobi for our Kenyan clientele,” he said.

Mr Lanyasunya said that the Kenya government recognizes the key role the Diaspora played in the development of the country through remittances but urged the Diaspora to go beyond social welfare kind of support they provide to their families and venture into investing in big projects that guarantee maximum returns.

“To date, the Diaspora sends Sh156 billion annually to Kenya,” he said.


~Wakenya Canada

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