Malawi's Diaspora in Kenya
While the Malawi Government has always valued the significant contribution that Malawians in diaspora make to the socio-economic development of the country, it has only recently moved to harness its relationship with this important segment of Malawians. The Malawi Government adopted the Malawi National Diaspora Engagement Policy in 2017 (which can be downloaded here) in order to provide a framework to guide its interactions with Malawians in diaspora.
Through this initiative, Malawi diplomatic missions have been reoriented to take a more active role is supporting Malawians in diaspora.
In Kenya, the Malawian community consists of experts working in various international organisations, private sector entities, and religious missions. Several Malawians are in Kenya as undergraduate and postgraduate students in different institutions either privately or under Government sponsorship. A number of Malawians are Kenya as spouses of Kenyan nationals. At any given point in time, there are also Malawians who visit Kenya temporarily for meetings, medical attention, tourism and business. The same kind distribution is present in Uganda while other countries of accreditation namely: Eritrea, Somalia, Central Africa Republic and Israel have insignificant numbers of Malawians. Among these, the majority are university students.
It is important to note that at the time the Malawi Government was developing the Diaspora Engagement Policy, the Malawi High Commission in Nairobi held various diaspora meetings with the Malawian community in Kenya to discuss various concerns and challenges faced by the diaspora. Issues discussed included immigration, dual citizenship, investment, property and land ownership and remittances. In March, 2018, the Mission facilitated consultations between the Malawi Government and Malawians in Kenya through which the Malawi Government reiterated its commitment to address diaspora concerns.
The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to work diligently to promote its engagement with Malawians in diaspora. It has instituted the Diaspora Umodzi Portal through which Malawians in diaspora can keep in touch with their homeland, and take advantage of various opportunities to productively contribute to the development of their homeland in a mutually beneficial manner.