Kenyan Community in Western Australia (KCWA)

Kenyans in New South Wales (KENSW)

Kenyans in Queensland (KIQ)

Kenyan Association of  South Australia (KASA)

East African Community of Canberra (EACA)

Kenyan Community in Victoria

Kenyan Community in Newcastle

Kenyan Community in Wagga Wagga



Kenyan Community in New Zealand (KCNZ)

Download National Diaspora Policy here – PDF Format


This Policy was developed in recognition of the the urgent need to mainstream the Kenyan Diaspora into national development process in line with the aspiratios and goals of the Kenya Vision 2030. Indeed, the Kenya Vision 2030 recognises Diapora constribution as a critical component to the growth of our economy and also towards achievement of our overaching vision of a globally competive and prosperous Kenya by the year 2030. It is in this recognition that development of a Diaspora Policy was identified as one of the Kenya Vision 2030 flagship projects. Additionally, Diaspora Diplomacy is now one of the principal pillars in our foreign policy.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya inward formal remittances from the Kenya Diaspora stood at Kshs 97.18 billion for the year 2012, accounting for 5.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This implies that the Diaspoa has huge and untapped potential to positively contribute to the growth of our economy.

Furthermore, we are aware that the Government has a duty to engage and facilitate its citizens not only in the country but also in the Diaspora as stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya. The Consitution also provides the right to vote as well as the right to dual citizenship to all its citizens living abroad, which has been their wish for a long time. This policy therefore has been developed to facilitiate a mutually beneficial relationship between the country and the Kenyan Diaspora population.

Among some of the key interventions proposed in the Policy are: curbing high cost of remittances, improving consular services to address Diaspora issues, using the Kenyan Diaspora to promote tourism, tapping into Diaspora talents to reverse brain drain, and designing a system of collection of data on Diaspora profiles.

It should be noted that this policy involves several actors. The implementation of programmes and projects as proposed in this policy therefore calls for a multi-sectoral approach from all the stakeholders.



This policy is a product of a long and highly participatory and inclusive consultative process which brougt together stakeholders from diverse agencies with long standing and solid knowledge and expertise on Diaspora issues. The Policy therefore benefited from views and input from relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Diaspora Associations, private sector, civil society, NGOs and development partners.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour played a lead role in the development of the Policy. Kenyans in the Diaspora were ably represented by Diaspora Associations such as the Kenyan Community Abroad and the Kenya Diaspora Alliance who played a key part in channeling contributions from the Diaspora. The contribution of partner organizations such as the World Bank and the International Organzation on Migration (IOM) towards building the instituional capacity of the Ministry in the management of labour migration and diaspora issues were invaluable as the policy was being developed. It is anticipated that all these stakeholders will continue to actively engage and contribute to the successful implementation of this Policy.

The Ministry is therefore strongly indebted to officers from the Ministries in charge of Labour, Trade, Planning, Information, Immigration and Registration of Persons, Tourism, Education and Medical Services. Similarly we received invaluable contributions from experts from the the Capital Markets Authority,Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research, Independent Electoral and Bounderies Commission and Kenya Investments Authority as well as the Federation of Kenya Employers and the Kenya Association of Private Employment Agencies. Their immense constributions at the tail end in the finalisation of this policy was not only timely and welcome, but was instrumental in shaping the content of the policy. Lastly and not the least, we thank development partners such as the International Organzation for Migration (IOM) and the World Bank who have have continued to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in developing this Policy.



The Kenyan Diaspora plays a key and strategic role in national development.  The Government of Kenya fully recognizes that the Kenyan Diaspora has huge and untapped potential which should be harnessed for the development of our nation. To successfully harness this potential the Government is committed to mainstream and integrate the Diaspora in the national development agenda. Indeed, the role of the Diaspora in the realisation of the Kenya Vision 2030 is recognised especially in driving investments in key sectors of the economy such as education, financial services, health, housing, ICT enabled services, manufacturing and tourism. This policy, therefore contains measures aimed at effective deployment and utilisation of the expertise, technical know-how and the entrepreneurial skills of the Kenyan Diaspora. Furthermore, the importance of Diaspora has been fully recognised in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Various definitions of the term Diaspora have been posited. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) defines Diaspora as members of ethnic and national communities who have left, but maintain links with their homelands. The African Union on the other hand, defines the African Diaspora as, “Consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union”.

For the purpose of this policy paper, the Kenyan Diaspora is defined as consisting of Persons of Kenyan Origin (PKO) and Non-Resident Kenyans (NRK’s). PKO status designates foreign citizens of Kenyan origin or descent. On the other hand NRK status is for Kenyan citizens holding a Kenyan passport and/or having dual citizenship and residing outside the country for an indefinite period whether for employment, business, vocation, education or any other purpose.


Global Outlook

Over the last 45 years, the number of persons living outside their country of birth has more than doubled from an estimated 75 million in 1960 to nearly 215 million (UN, 2009) representing 3% of World population. About 30 Million Africans are living outside their home country (IOM and KNBS). These figures clearly indicate how crucial the management of international migration is, especially in view of the magnitude of the movement of people across borders for employment. The issue has now moved to the top of policy agenda in many countries of origin, transit and destination. Governments at both ends of the migration spectrum are increasing their capacities to manage labour migration for the mutual benefit of society, migrants and the state. This has therefore necessitated the need for policy, legal and institutional mechanisms to manage and control the movement of people regionally and internationally.

The African Union (AU) recognizes the role played by the Diaspora in the development of the continent. The Extra – Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union in its meeting held on 3rd February, 2003, declared the African Diaspora as the sixth region of the continent. The declaration was based on the recognition of the African Diaspora as an important part of the continent whose potential needs to be fully exploited in building the African Continent. In this regard, Kenya ratified the Amendment to the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act Article 3(q) that “invites and encourages the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our continent in the building of the African Union”.

Furthermore, to underscore the importance of remittances to African counties, an African Institute for Remittances (AIR) will be established and anchored within the AU Commission (AUC). The Institute will among other things assist in capacity building of member states of the African Union (AU), remittance senders and recipients, and other stakeholders, to manage remittances. The key beneficiaries of the project are remittance senders and recipients and the broader African Diaspora, and their families and communities in home countries.

Regionally, the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community (Article 104) provides for free movement of persons, labour, goods, services and the right of establishment and residence of their citizens within the Community. This is further reinforced in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Protocol on the free movement of labour.

Countries such as China, India, México and Israel have significantly benefited by capitalizing on their links with their Diaspora. Other countries have also initiated measures to design policies and legislation to create an enabling environment for the Diaspora to participate fully and contribute to the development of their countries especially through remittances. According to the World Bank, remittances to developing countries are three times the Official Development Assistance (ODA). The remittances are estimated to be about $406 Billion (World Bank, 2012). The World Bank estimates that remittances sent through informal channels could add up to at least 50 per cent of the official estimate, making it the largest source of external capital in many developing countries.

Download National Diaspora Policy Full Version – PDF Format