Government Cancels Diaspora “Homecoming” Conference

The government has called off a conference for Kenyans living abroad that was set to start on December 18 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

Kenyatta International Convention Center building in this picture taken on January 30, 2014. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The government cited lack of adequate time to prepare for the event.

Speaking to the Nation on phone Thursday, the Director of Diaspora and Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Washington Oloo said the cancellation was necessitated by “the need for proper planning, inclusivity and adequate participation of all stakeholders.”

The forum dubbed Diaspora Homecoming Conference will now be held sometime in March next year, Mr Oloo said.

“We would like all genuine Diaspora organisations from all corners of the world to be represented. So far, we have not mobilised them effectively,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Oloo said it has not commissioned any organisation to collect registration fees from those wishing to attend the conference.

He claimed there was an organisation that was collecting registration fees from Kenyans abroad saying “this collection of funds is not sanctioned by the Government.”

“Whereas the Government is in partnership with various Stakeholders, both from the Public and Private sector to organise a Diaspora Conference, it has not taken a subsidiary role, rather it is spearheading the process and is fully responsible for the event,” added the statement.

Mr Oloo said the Foreign Affairs Ministry is investigating allegations levelled against the organsiation that is allegedly charging Sh 5,600 from those wishing to attend the conference.

“We as a Ministry are not charging any fee to those wishing to attend the forum,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the conference aim was to reach out to the Diaspora, introduce investment opportunities and sensitise Kenyans living abroad on the benefits of using the Diaspora web portal.

– Daily Nation