Kenyan ministers of finance and trade‚ chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange coming to KSU

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (March 19‚ 2007) — The east African country of Kenya is putting out the…

Georgia (Mar 19, 2007) — Kenyan ministers of finance and trade‚ chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange coming to KSU

Jennifer Hafer

Abstract

Kenya courting native sons and daughters in U.S. for homeland investment

Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison
770−423−6203
fharris4@kennesaw.edu

Contact/Writer: Jennifer Hafer‚ 770−423−6711 or jhafer@kennesaw.edu


KENNESAW‚ Ga. (March 19‚ 2007) — The east African country of Kenya is putting out the welcome mat for foreign investors‚ placing special emphasis on courting its native sons and daughters living in the U.S.

An International Conference and Investment Forum Examining the Role of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya’s Development is scheduled for March 22 – 24 at Kennesaw State University. This international‚ multi−stakeholder conference and investment forum boasts such luminaries as:

* Peter Ogego‚ Kenya’s top ambassador to the U.S. from Washington‚ D.C.;
* Amos Kimunya‚ Kenya’s minister of finance;
* Mukhisa Kituyi‚ Kenyan’s minister of trade;
* Jimnah Mbaru‚ chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange; and many others.

“This conference will showcase to Kenyans and non−Kenyans the investment climate in Kenya and how the government can facilitate investment‚” Executive Director of the Institute for Global Initiatives at KSU Dr. Akanmu Adebayo said. “It is now an open secret that the diaspora nationals are a significant asset in national developments.”

According to estimates‚ there are more than 1 million Kenyans living in the U.S.‚ with approximately 22‚000 living in the Atlanta area. Last fiscal year‚ Kenyans living in the U.S. sent close to $1 billion to their homeland.

“The money being sent back to Kenya from the diaspora is more than from foreign investment‚” Kenya native and conference organizer Stephen Ndiritu said. “The government is in the process of coming up with a policy initiative on how to involve the diaspora in development of the country‚ and this conference gives us a chance to give input on what’s been drafted.”

As Kenya emerges from the long shadows of a dictatorship‚ the economy has been on a growth trajectory‚ growing at an estimated 6 percent last year from 0.6 percent in 2002.

“The government is very keen on sustaining that growth and taking it to an even higher level to help eliminate poverty in the country‚” Ndiritu said. “To be able to do that‚ they’re going to need a lot of outside investment.”

The conference is part of the “Year of…” celebrations at KSU‚ which seek to provide students with opportunities to increase their global knowledge. This spring‚ 89 students from Kenyan were among the university’s 1‚672 international students‚ representing 140 countries.

“Global learning is something we’re about at the institution‚” Adebayo said. “Our students aren’t likely to go to Kenya‚ but they can learn about Kenya here on campus. The news coverage of Africa often is negative. This is the first opportunity for an image of a continent that’s really making an effort to step up development efforts‚ rather than death and disease.”

For further information‚ or to schedule an interview with any of the participants‚ please contact the writer.

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A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population approaching 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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