The Diaspora forum took place on the margins of the TICAD VII Summit in Yokohama, Japan. The theme of the forum was ‘’Leveraging Diaspora for knowledge, skills and innovation exchange and sharing to strengthen Africa-Japan Development Partnership for sustainable industrialization’’.
The Diaspora forum comprised of panel discussions involving Ministers, select experts from various fields especially Banking and Finance, Business and Industry, Education, Diaspora, and Labour migration. Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amb. Dr Monica Juma delivered a key note address and reiterated the importance of the diaspora network globally as a resource for skills development in Africa.
“The Diaspora and their networks abroad are an important resource and reservoir of knowledge and skills. Consequently, the transfer of these resources from the Diaspora to our home countries is crucial for facilitating research and innovation as well as skills development in African countries”.
She said she was convinced that African Diaspora, across the board, is eager to get more and more involved in developing their countries of origin, not just by giving money, but also by transferring their skills, knowledge and expertise. Adding the need to provide them with an enabling environment and structured programmes to do so. She urged them to therefore strive to work with your national authorities to jointly formulate policies and programmes to increase the Diaspora contribution to our continent’s socio-economic development.
The expected outcome of the forum is to come up with concrete and pragmatic outcomes which will substantially contribute to exploiting the skills and innovativeness of yourselves as the African Diaspora in Japan, to bolster the existing strong partnership between Africa and Japan for the benefit of our continent.
She noted that Kenya diaspora has contributed immensely to the development of the country through established framework and innovative products and tools offered by the private sector designed to facilitate the Diaspora in transferring back home some of their resources, particularly remittances, investments and skills.
The Diaspora forum at TICAD VII Summit was organized jointly by the Government of Kenya, the African Union, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and brought together the African Diaspora in Japan and various stakeholders including governments, private sector, and international organizations to share Diaspora contributions to knowledge, skills and innovations and private sector engagements to promote Japan-Africa socio-economic development partnerships. Approximately 10,000 Africans live in Japan.