kenyan diaspora conf

International Conference on

"The Role of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya's Development"

Kennesaw State University, March 22-24, 2007



Mapping the Kenyan Diaspora
Papers and presentations on this theme will address crucial demographic issues on the Kenyan Diaspora. Sub-themes include population and the global spread of the Kenyan Diaspora into Asia, Europe, the Americas, the Oceania, and the rest of Africa; occupational categories; economic impact of individual and collective remittances to Kenya, what such remittances fund, and possibilities of formalizing such remittances for national and community development; impact of economic and political activities of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya, including role in national elections, eco-tourism, etc.; grassroots mobilization by the Kenyan Diaspora.

History and Future of the Kenyan Diaspora
Papers and presentations on this theme will be retrospective and prospective. Sub-themes include the process of the creation of the Kenyan Diaspora, the relationship between Kenyans at home and Kenyans abroad; social and cultural issues and challenges faced by the Kenyan Diaspora; adjustment processes; responsibilities of dual nationality; influences of the Kenyan Diaspora on Kenya’s political philosophy, social transformation, environment, and culture; the future of relations between Kenyans in the Diaspora and Kenyans at home.

Comparative Diaspora and Development
Papers and presentations will consider “Diaspora” and “Development” from a variety of disciplines, such as literature, biological sciences, philosophy, geography, economics, and the arts. Presenters will draw comparative lessons from successful models from other Diaspora communities (e.g., India and China) to inform discussions and recommendations on the role of the Kenyan Diaspora.

Brain Drain or Brain Trust?
Papers and presentations on this theme will address policy issues, politics and priorities in turning “brain drain” into “brain trust” and enabling Kenyan society, government, and progressive elements access to the “trust”. Sub-themes include educational opportunities, cutting edge skills, and innovative ideas presented to Kenya by the Kenyan Diaspora; their responses to globalization of Kenya; role of universities (public and private) in creating and sustaining “brain trust”; successful models of knowledge, capital and technology transfers from the Diaspora to Kenya.

Attracting Resources and Engaging Stakeholders
Papers and presentations will address how the Kenyan Diaspora engage the Kenyan society in issues such as healthcare, environment, business, governance, science and technology, education, etc. Sub-theme includes networking and other opportunities with the World Bank/IMF, WTO, G-8, development-minded NGOs, etc.; management and leadership training and skills; practical models in managing NGOs and making NGOs work for societal engagement and development (e.g., NGOs for HIV/AIDS education); models of interaction between the Diaspora and the home country (e.g., book collection).

Original Business Creation and Innovation
Papers and presentations will address the role of Kenyan Diaspora in new business creation through translation, adaptation, and commercialization of knowledge and products. It is no secret that highly trained and skilled nationals of developing countries are working as leading scientists, practitioners, and business leaders in world-class organizations and institutions. The knowledge gained in the Diaspora can be, and has been, of great value in translating existing knowledge into products to meet human needs in the home country and for global markets, creating brand new businesses. Sub-themes include how members of the Kenyan Diaspora are using their high level education and skills to attract direct foreign investment to Kenya and to transform the business environment in Kenya; how they are using their overseas experiences to launch innovations in industry and business in Kenya; and how they are using their global knowledge and skills to create and enhance development opportunities in Kenya.

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Kennesaw State University

AKPA Embassy of Kenya
Institute for Global Initiatives