[26th July 2015]

KENYANS IN TOKYO HOLD A COLORFUL GET-TOGETHER PARTY

The Kenya Embassy in Tokyo was yesterday the venue of a colorful get-together party which allowed KIJA participants the unique opportunity to meet, socialize and exchange views on what they are doing in Japan. The function coincided with the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya and the visit by President Obama. Consequently, Kenyans watched the proceedings on live stream as they socialized. Organizers hoped that this was a nice way to help them network to promote their solidarity and help them discuss developments in their motherland.

Addressing the gathering, His Excellency the Ambassador said that he is very proud of them all and what they are doing in Japan. He underlined the fact that the government holds the Kenyan Diaspora in high esteem and is doing everything possible to strengthen their participation in the socio-economic development of their country. Amb. Maina also said that he was very happy to be part of the activities of KIJA noting that its leadership has been exemplary, a fact which has made KIJA the envy of many Diaspora organizations in other parts of the globe.

During the 'summer get together', the gathering was informed that following the appointment of Dr. Emmanuel Mutisya as the Chairman of the Diaspora Consortium of Kenya (DCK) and the relocation of some KIJA officials, it had now become necessary to choose some new leaders to take up the role of coordinating KIJA activities in Tokyo. This would allow Dr. Mutisya to eventually remain the Chair of KIJA- Japan where he can concentrate on efforts to strengthen, unite and coordinate the activities of all Kenyan Diaspora branches in Japan. This will help the Diaspora to better fulfill their role as Kenyans abroad. Consequently, members present nominated 5 leaders. They were in turn directed to agree amongst them who would be the chair to coordinate the activities of the KIJA-Tokyo branch and prepare for an election. They will therefore coordinate the activities of KIJA in Tokyo until the election of permanent Office bearers (preferably within one month). Those elected included the following:

1. Dr. Joe Mutungi- University of Tokyo
2. Ms. Lynnette Musimbi- NHK
3. Mr. Moses Akuno- UNU
4. Mr. Joseph Karanja – UNU
5. Dr. Emmanuel Mutisya- KIJA Chairman

Dr. Mutisya on his part reminded those present that his guiding principle is "not what our government can do for us but what we can, in collaboration with the government do for National Development". He added that "as we harness our collective efforts, the impact will be enormous".

The KIJA Chair also reported that he travelled to Oita region this week and a new KIJA-OITA leadership team was elected led by Mr. Eugene Wanyama of the Asia Pacific University. He added that having worked with Mr. Eugene Wanyama for several years, he could attest to his passion and commitment in building and strengthening the bridge between Kenyan and Japan.

He also shared with fellow Kenyans a few of the achievements of KIJA in the past and some upcoming activities in the near future. He began by pointing out that KIJA has now the best website of any Diaspora organizations namely - http://www.kija.co.ke. He called on them to make use of the site saying that it is "your website". He for example note that the site can be used by Kenyans to report anything and even to market their individual activities for purposes of networking and seeking collaborative support. He also called on them to forward any useful suggestions and ideas for improvement of the site. He also urged them to use the KIJA Facebook page and to register their membership on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenyans-in-Japan-Association-KIJA/415756011936807?ref=bookmarks.

The KIJA Chairman also reported on the establishment of the Afro-East Investors Limited as a company registered in Kenya for collective investments of all members who are Kenyans in Japan. He said the Company presents an opportunity for members to invest in Kenya to secure their future as they tap into investment opportunities in Kenya and promote economic collaboration between Kenya and Japan. He pointed out that the registration fee is only Kshs. 5,000.00 while a share will cost members Kshs. 25, 000.00 or the equivalent in Japanese Yen. Each member will initially be allowed a maximum of 2 shares to become a member and more details can be found on: http://www.kija.co.ke/afro-east-investors-limited/

The KIJA Chairman also explained that there is a Diaspora Portal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade which requires that all Kenyans in the Diaspora to register their skills so as to help the Government to map out the skills available amongst all Kenyans in Japan. He said this was important to help them know where special skills are located for purposes of recruitment to specialized jobs. Moreover, the registration could help the IEBC during preparation for Diaspora voters' registration. He asked them to kindly register and to ensure that their friends are registered at: http://diasporaportal.eurocom.co.ke/register.php

In addition the Chair of KIJA reported that The Kenya Diaspora Investment Conference will take place at the Keio Business School on October 29, 2015. He asked them to kindly mark their calendars especially now that TICAD 6 is slated to take place in Nairobi, Kenya. Consequently, the conference could act as a preparatory step in building links with the Japanese industry.

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