[8th June 2012]

KENYA DIASPORA IN OSAKA CELEBRATE MADARAKA DAY

H.E. Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu (seated 4th from left) poses for a group photo with Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

Members of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kansai/ Chubu Region recently organized a joyous Get-together to celebrate Madaraka Day. The event which took place at the Crown Plaza hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012 was facilitated by a committee of committed Kenyans who included Prof. Nathaniel Agola, Mr. Francis Otieno, Ms. Jane Wamaitha Mwathi, Mr. Chris Omumasaba and Mr. Evans Menach.

The well attended occasion also coincided with ongoing efforts by the Embassy to re-invigorate the Association of Kenyans in Japan and the Kenyan Community present grabbed this opportunity to launch an interim committee that will lead efforts to revitalize the association of Kenyans in Kansai/ Chubu Region. The interim committee chosen by those present is made up of Prof. Nathaniel Agola (Chairman); Mr. Francis Otieno (Coordinator); Mrs. Jane Wamaitha (Secretary); Mr. Evans Menach (member), and Mr. Chris Omumasaba (Member). The team was allowed to co-opt other Kenyan nationals they deemed necessary to conduct the functions of their high calling. These members will be in office for exactly one year pending the election of a more permanent team to steer the affairs of the Association.

The Event was attended by H.E. Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu, who was the chief guest, and more than 30 Kenyans from various backgrounds who are students or professionals living in various parts of the Kansai/ Chubu Region. Among other key speakers on this occasion were; Prof. Nathaniel Agola who represented the sentiments of the majority of Kenyans in the Kansai region. Also to address the gathering was Mr. Dick Olango, a Kenyan professional in Tokyo who spoke to Kenyans about a group of professionals in Tokyo who have formed a small secretariat to prepare a "Kenya Week" event in Tokyo in the month of September 2012.

During his address to the Kenyan Community, H.E. the Ambassador shared with them a message delivered in Nairobi by His Excellency the President on the Occasion of the 49th Madaraka Day Celebrations. He also updated the Kenyan Community in Osaka on a number of issues ranging from consular services offered in the Mission and the various initiatives being undertaken by the Government of Kenya to mainstream issues affecting the Kenyan Diaspora into the national development agenda. H.E. the Ambassador particularly underscored the crucial role played by the Kenya Community abroad in national development. He explained that they do this through their remittances back home, by investing in real estate and their active participation in the capital markets. Above all he said that the Kenyan Community abroad has a big role in facilitating technological transfers to stimulate industrial development and economic growth in Kenya.

H.E. the Ambassador emphasized the importance of establishing strong associations of Kenya Nationals living in Japan. He said that Kenyans needed a strong Association to facilitate friendship, mutual support and networking saying a social organization can also foster the pooling of resources for personal growth. To demonstrate the strengths of the Kenyan Diaspora in Japan, H.E. the Ambassador shared with the meeting successful stories of what Kenyans in the Diaspora have been doing especially in Europe, UAE and the Americas. He said the Kenya Diaspora in Japan had the potential to achieve a greater impact in national development if they fostered unity and social cohesion. To support the Ambassador's message. Prof. Agola told his compatriots that the Diaspora in Japan was vital constituency in Kenya and that they needed to unite in order to be seen for if they are seen they cannot be ignored! He also echoed the Ambassador's sentiments that there was need for tapping their skills for the development of Kenya.

In his address to the meeting, Dr. Nathaniel Agola also focused on possible strategies to foster Diaspora unity saying that the Diaspora needed to realize they have a crucial role to play in Kenya's Vision 2030. He even proposed the possibility for arranging a meeting between the Kenya Vision 2030 Secretariat and Kenya Community in Japan in the near future. He challenged fellow Kenyans to be active so as to be "heard and seen." On the other hand, Mr. Dick OLANGO briefed the gathering on the up-coming Kenya Week slated for September, 2012 in Tokyo saying the event would give an opportunity for Kenyans in Japan to network and share ideas/ experiences. His requested that the Kenyan community in the Kansai/ Chubu Region should join hands with his team as they prepare for the event, a request which was well received as several Kenyans registered to participate in the events.

H.E. Ambassador Benson H.O. Ogutu addressing Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region paying attention to H.E. the Ambassador's speech at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

H.E. the Ambassador engaging with the Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region after proposing a toast at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

Prof. Nathaniel Agola (Interim Chairman) addressing the Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

Mr. Dick Olango, Representative of "Kenya Week Secretariat," addressing the Kenya Community in Kansai/ Chubu Region, on the upcoming Kenya Week event slated for September/ October, 2012 in Tokyo, at the ANA Crown Plaza Hotel in Osaka on 2nd June, 2012.

President's Madaraka Day Speech

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