The Generation Z demonstrations and demands that led to the finance bill 2024 withdrawal are challenging Diaspora Kenyans to channel their remittances to create jobs. Diaspora Kenyans on seeing thousands, of the approximately 7 million young Kenyans born after 1997 who are aged 18 years to 27 years, “Generation Z,” demonstrating are feeling challenged to create jobs and opportunities for these Kenyans. Most of these young Kenyans do not have a job that can meet their basic needs of food, housing, healthcare, clean water, raising a family and other needs.

Gen Z demonstrate at Voi, Kenya

In 2004, 20 years ago, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would start recording the Diaspora remittances to Kenya. In 2004 the amount recorded as remitted by Diaspora Kenyans was $338 million. In the close of 2023 the amount recorded as remitted was $4.18 billion. The total remittances in 20 years (2004 – 2023) is $34 billion, about Ksh 4 trillion.

The Diaspora Kenyans remittances have not created jobs similar to those in the U.S and Europe that meet the Diaspora Kenyans basic needs when living abroad. Whereas the Diaspora remittances come from the jobs income the remittances have not created jobs with consistent income in Kenya.

After the great depression of 1929 the U.S. GDP fell to $57 billion (1933). The effort since then has led to the U.S GDP growing to $28 trillion (2023). The U.S citizens and the young generation then would change the government plans, systems, leaders, and fight corruption. The jobs that Kenyans have in the U.S that the remittances come from, are because of the changes that are progressively made in the U.S government tax and spending plan as well as from the investments in 33 million MSMEs as every generation builds the country for themselves and the next generation.

Diaspora Kenyans advancing Diaspora University Town (DUT) when expressing views on why jobs have not been created for the Generation Z say that one of the reasons is the failure of Diaspora Kenyans to direct their remittances to fund entrepreneurship and jobs creation investment and development plans.

As Diaspora Kenyans continue to invest in Kenya through Diaspora University Town (DUT), they also appreciate what Generation Z has started. The debate on taxes, government expenditure, corruption and having Kenya Constitution obedience as the Supreme law is good for investment.

By 2030, next 6 years, Diaspora can have 50% of the projected $25 billion (about Ksh 3 trillion) remittances come to Kenya as angel investments and venture capital investments. If the Diaspora Kenyans invest the Ksh 1.5 trillion in plans they initiate and those initiated by generation Z to create jobs not only will jobs be created for generation Z but also the systems will be in place for creating jobs for future generations.

Diaspora University Town (DUT) project is a 20,000 jobs creation project in Taita Taveta County. The Diaspora Kenyans in DUT current goal is to grow the Diaspora Kenyans investing in DUT and have $40 million invested to create 20,000 jobs in Taita Taveta County.

By 2030, the Kenyans born after 1997 and aged 18 – 34 years will be about 15 million. Diaspora Kenyans Ksh 1.5 trillion cash and Generation Z can create more than 10 million jobs of the 15 million.

Generation Z have started changing the systems of government so they can benefit from their country. Diaspora Kenyans should change their remittances approach to investment for jobs creation plans so as to benefit Kenyans and themselves.

The best reward the Diaspora Kenyans can give Generation Z, is the same reward the Diaspora Kenyans were given abroad, a job. A job with an income that will meet the daily needs of food, housing, clean water, healthcare, raising a family and investment for the future.

Dan Kamau, DUT Project Director