kenyan diaspora conf

International Conference & Investment Forum on

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

Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia. March 22-24, 2007


Conference Registration Friday March 23 Conference Program Saturday March 24 Investment Forum (Wekeza) Program Transportation from the Airport Abstracts

Diaspora is the “scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland.” Implied in “scattering” is the notion of “sowing” and “sprouting.” Hence, the Kenyan Diaspora is about migration, transplantation, and developing new roots. It is also about staying connected to the ancestral homeland. Who are members of the Kenyan Diaspora? Where are they? What is the size of the population? What are their demographic features: by ethnic categories, professional activities and affiliations, income levels, religion, etc.? What roles do the Kenyan Diaspora, scattered in various parts of the world, play in the development of Kenya? Given that “development” is a loaded term, what aspects of development in Kenya are members of the Kenyan Diaspora most involved in and with what degree of success? What makes certain groups successful and others not? What is significant and unique about the Kenyan Diaspora when compared with other African Diasporas? How can investors and business owners abroad tap into the contacts and networks of the Kenyan Diaspora to build mutually advantageous international businesses? What other resources and expertise, especially in medicine, science, technology, etc. do members of the Kenyan Diaspora possess that can be exported back to Kenya? How best can the potential within the Diaspora be fully harnessed for Kenya’s national development? In other words, what is the way forward?

The conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, activists, and the general public to examine the role of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya’s development and to address how best to harness the potential within the Diaspora for Kenya’s national development. Participants are expected to deliver scholarly papers, workshops, short presentations, poster presentations, and oral communications.

The conference is organized as part of Kennesaw State University’s academic year-long study, the “Year of Kenya.” It is interdisciplinary. The conference will adopt many strategies to engage participants in the various themes. Reading of academic papers and engagement in scholarly discourses will be combined with presentation of models via poster sessions, working groups, and training sessions.

Accepted papers will be considered for publication in the Journal of Global Initiatives.

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