East Africa

Kenya launches foreign and diaspora policies‏

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Since independence in 1963, Kenya has never had a published foreign or diaspora policy

Kenya launched on Tuesday two important documents on its foreign policy and diaspora, making them public for the first time in its history.

“We are an anchor for peace and security throughout our region, and in trade and investment,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told the launch ceremony

“We are a gateway between Africa and the emerging economic powerhouses of Asia, plus the more traditional trading partners in Europe and North America,” he added.

Since independence in 1963, Kenya has never had a published foreign or diaspora policy.

Kenyatta said that Kenya has redefined its foreign policy to ensure it properly supports robust reciprocal bilateral and multilateral relations in trade, taxation and investment.

“While the Foreign Policy document lays out the principles that govern our engagement with the world, the Diaspora Policy will guide us in harnessing the wealth and expertise of Kenyans in the diaspora to our development efforts,” he added.

“Given the abundance of skilled, knowledgeable, and patriotic Kenyans outside our borders, it is now a matter of the highest priority to integrate the diaspora into our national development agenda,” asserted the president.

Official figures estimate the number of Kenyan expats at more than three million.

Kenyatta underlined, meanwhile, the importance of the two documents in maintaining the important roles played by Kenya.

“To successfully sustain these roles, the world and our people, particularly those in the diaspora, should have a clearer idea of what principles and broad goals underpin our external relations,” he said.

“The launch of these two policies is an important step in that direction,” he noted.

Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed, for her part, said that the documents will guide Kenya’s foreign relations and diplomatic engagements with partners.

“The policies are inclined towards upholding sovereignty, promoting universal peace and fostering better relations with our neighbors, the rest of the African continent and the world at large,” she explained.

“In this regard Kenya will continue to consolidate and strengthen its foreign relations and diplomatic engagements with other countries as well as international and multilateral organizations at the regional, continental and international level,” added the top diplomat.


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