Kenyans Abroad Conference Gets Underway


WILMINGTON – The Kenya Community Abroad (KCA) 2007 conference is underway at the Marriot by the University of Delaware. The conference opened with a call to all Kenyans in the Diaspora to get involved in the formulation of policy in their motherland. The call was made by the KCA president Mkawasi Mcharo who noted “there is nothing that happens in Kenya that does not affect us.”  She said “it is our responsibility as Kenyans to participate in setting policies and engage in political discourse. Policies that affect us are created by other people, yet it’s our duty to engage fully as Kenyans.”

Mkawasi Mcharo hailed the leaders in Kenya and in the Diaspora for the positive changes taking place in Kenya. She cited the Diaspora bill that was drafted and now is about to be signed into law as a result of efforts of Kenyans abroad. Noting that KCA members are trans-national citizens, Ms Mcharo urged members to contribute equally to Kenya’s development since “we are still part of our county. When Kenyans are in pain we are in pain; when they celebrate we celebrate; there is nothing that happens in Kenya that does not affect us.”

This year’s conference theme is “Uniting a people, Building a Nation.” KCA also celebrates its tenth anniversary this weekend.

The KCA president cited the establishment of the Agenda Africa, a Think Tank started by KCA and the Stop Campaign, a campaign geared towards protecting Kenyan children as some of the achievements of the organization since its founding in 1997.

Dr. Shem Ochuodho will be awarded the 2006 KCA Excellence Award at a function later tonight to recognize the organization’s founders. Prominent past awardees include renowned environmentalist and Nobel laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai.

This year’s conference has drawn participants from across the United States and from Kenya. Kenyans from the neighboring states of New Jersey and Philadelphia, the Washington metropolitan area,  and from as far as Georgia and Minnesota began arriving late Friday for the conference that brings together Kenyans in the Diaspora and their friends to deliberate about development issues in Kenya.

The conference ends tomorrow Sunday. Later tonight the participants will attend a grand banquet to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of KCA.

About Douglas Mpuga

Douglas Mpuga is Mshale's correspondent in Washington, DC. He has over 12 years experience as a journalist in both Africa and the United States. He has worked with leading Dailies in Uganda such as New Vision and was also a producer at Uganda TV. He has trained at such places as KCOP TV (UPN 13), Los Angeles and IDAHO 8 TV Station, Idaho Falls, Idaho. While at Howard University as a Research Assistant, he taught basic courses in journalism and communication. He is a member of numerous professional associations including the East Africa Media Institute, International Communication Association and the United States Telecommunications Training Institute Alumni Association.

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