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Ruto to establish a Ministry of Diaspora

Ruto to establish a Ministry of Diaspora to address issues affecting its citizens even as it focuses to boost remittances.

Kenya will create a Ministry of Diaspora, according to President William Ruto, to handle issues impacting its citizens while focusing on increasing remittances.

Ruto claimed that the choice was made in response to complaints that the diaspora has not been given the respect they deserve.

“The focus has been on remittances, while their fundamental rights as citizens have been neglected,” Dr. Ruto said in his inaugural address shortly after taking the oath of office as Kenya’s 5th President.

“To correct this oversight, I pledge to elevate diaspora issues at a ministry level.”

Diaspora remittances rose to Sh283.6 billion or 13 percent from Sh250.4 billion over the period January to July 2022.

The US is the biggest source of remittances to Kenya, accounting for 59 percent of the total sum of funds sent into the country this year.

William Ruto stated that the government will also improve diaspora services in all embassies and build up a framework for Kenyans living abroad to participate in public life.

Since Ruto stated that the government will cooperate with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to raise the number of registered voters from the present 10,444, those in the diaspora will also participate more in future elections.

He declared that the newly elected administration will work with Parliament to form a committee that will only focus on matters relating to the diaspora.

Once members are assigned to the House team, it is anticipated that the select committee on diaspora and migrant workers will begin to take shape.

The committee will deal with all matters relating to the protection of the rights and welfare of Kenyans in the diaspora.

The 14-member team will handle all issues facing Kenyan nationals with dual citizenship, Kenyan migrant workers and their families abroad, and Kenyans undertaking studies abroad.

The establishment of a standalone committee comes amid a jump in the numbers moving abroad in search of greener pastures and abuse cases by employers in the Middle East.

A rising number of Kenyan youth are seeking jobs abroad to escape the high level of unemployment in the country. About 1.2 million Kenyan youth join the labour market every year.

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