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VIDEO: Why many Kenyans who go to study abroad never come back

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BY CHRIS WAMALWA

Over the last 15-20 years, the Kenyan Community in the United States has completely expanded and spread across almost every state in America.

What are the implications of the expansion of the community and how they relate to Kenya?This is a public park in the city of Townsend Delaware on a beautiful summer afternoon on the east coast of the USA.

Kenyans living in the state arrive one by one and by sunset, the park will be full of Kenyans.The event taking place is the annual Kenyan summer flame organized by the Fifty dollar club group.

We meet Dr. Davidi Amakobe, a social scientist and a community leader who has lived in the US for the last 20 years. Amakobe understands the history and development of the Kenyan community in the US and he is particularly glad that the community is indeed expanding and establishing roots in the US.

“The first Kenyans who came to the US came as students when Tom Mboya organized for a lot of Kenyans to come to the US to learn and take over from the British. But again some Kenyans remained and they were accommodated by the system,” says Amakobe.

Prof. Micah Mukabi, a resident from Emuhaya, Bunyore Vihiga County went to the US in January 1976 to study. Mukabi says unlike now where foreigners are treated with hostility, immigrants and students and people were interested in knowing where you came from.‘It wasn’t easy but it was a good environment,” says Prof. Mukabi.

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According to Mr. Amakobe, one of the factors that led to the expansion of the Kenyan Community in the US is the unfavorable social and economic climate in Kenya that has been witnessed since the year 2000.“Around 200, the politics in Kenya was not very conducive. People were finding it unsuitable to go back.

And as the world economy gets interconnected, people find it easy to stay where they can make a living,” said Mr. Amakobe.

The quench for education is considered to be the major factor that has contributed to the growth of the Kenyan community in the US and their story of the American journey is not from grass to grace but rather struggled to pay college fees and graduate.

The main challenge for Kenyans in the US is chasing a pathway to gain American citizenship or at least staying in America illegally. As a consequence, Kenyans engage in fake marriages among other things with the hope of gaining legal status.

But these challenges on top of the inevitable cultural shocks, language barriers, racial and social discrimination notwithstanding, many Kenyans in the US have overcome them and they are now living meaningful lives far away from where they were born.

Mkawasi Mcharo, a resident in Baltimore-Maryland, went to the US in 1997 as a postgraduate student explains how tough life can be for a newcomer in a land where people mind their businesses but she managed to survive.“If you land here and you do not know where to live or you do not have a scholarship that guarantees you a place to live, you are in for a very difficult time,” says Mkawasi.

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Despite spending many years in the US, Mkawasi just like many others constantly experiences the cultural clashes and tensions between where she was born and where she lives now.“Kenyans here have pulled themselves and they are doing very well.

Many  Kenyans started from zero when they got here and now they have done very well for themselves,” said Mkawasi.Remittances increase every year with figures showing that approximate 1.6 billion shillings this year from 1.2 billion shillings four years ago is sent to Kenya from America. This indicates that the Kenyan economy is expanding yearly and the productivity is increasing in the US.

The basic motivational factors that make some people migrate are always constant; the search for better social and economic activities and of course the escape from wars and civil conflicts.The fact that the diaspora contributes immensely to the development of their country through remittances is indisputable.

Unlike before where global migration, permanent relocation or long separation and infrequent encounters with one native’s home, today revolution, and telecommunications and travel, has compressed the spatial and temporal distances between home and abroad.

This has offered immigrants an opportunity to bolster their family relationships and stay in touch despite being miles apart between two continents.

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Kenyans abroad develop tremendous skills and they give it back to their country in the form of remittances and higher education where some of them come back to Kenya and teach others to improve their educational status.“We are seeing a brain gain as opposed to brain drain in the past years where a lot of Africans are now re-engaging with the continent in IT and education, in terms of the economy and more importantly in terms of remittances,” said Prof. David Monda.

The globalization does not only facilitate the rapid flow of capital and commodities, but it also revitalizes all cultural community network. In this case, strengthening the trans-national ethnic, racial and national identity.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Diaspora

Kenyans, Americans banned from travelling to Europe

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Visitors from Kenya are set to remain banned from entering any of the 31 European countries when borders reopen on July 1.

This is as President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to open the skies in a bid to reawaken the tourism sector that has suffered a blow due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The European Union is expected to start lifting the internal border restrictions for its own citizens starting tomorrow in an attempt to save the European tourism season.But this will only apply to countries believed to be ‘safe’ of the highly-contagious coronavirus.

The list was drafted after assessing the epidemiological situation in the countries, their coronavirus response, the ability to apply containment measures during travel and whether or not they had lifted travel restrictions towards the EU, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.Kenya has so far recorded 6,190 cases and 144 deaths as of June 29.

The numbers have been on the rise in the month of June after the country increased the testing capacity on a daily basis.According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, only citizens from 14 countries will be allowed to enter Europe.The countries include; Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.The ban has also exempted citizens from the ‘unsafe countries’ who are already living in Europe.

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equal travel deal for citizens from the European Union nations.Citizens from the United Kingdom have been exempted from the temporary travel restriction, and they will be treated in the same way as European Union nationals until the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year.

Americans have also been banned from travelling to the EU nations following the high number of coronavirus cases in the country.As of June 30, the country had recorded 2,682,011 and a total of 128,788 deaths since the onset of the outbreak.On Monday Reuters reported that California and Texas both marked record spikes in new Covid-19 infections as Los Angeles reported an “alarming” one-day surge in America’s second-largest city that put it over 100,000 cases.

In March, President Donald Trump suspended all people from Europe’s ID check-free travel zone, which include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, from entering the US.The EU said the “safe list” will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest Covid-19 developments in each country.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Africa

Kenya ‘raring to go’ on free trade deal with US, Uhuru says

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Kenya’s negotiations with the US on an unprecedented two-way trade deal are on schedule to begin on July 7 despite difficulties posed by the coro-navirus pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday.

“Our team is raring to go,” he assured an online forum sponsored by the Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa.Kenya is aiming to create “sustainable jobs for our people” through what would be the first bilateral free-trade agreement between a sub-Saharan country and the nation with the world’s biggest economy, the President added.

The US also has much to gain from concluding such an arrangement, Mr Kenyatta suggested.Kenya is part of a continent that “requires everything from toothbrushes to machine tooling,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta also sought to allay concerns that a bilateral deal with the US could undermine the African Con-tinental Free Trade Area that is due to be implemented at the start of 2021.The Africa-wide initiative is “very important to us,” the President said, noting that Kenya has worked hard to ensure its success.

He suggested that a Kenya-US bilateral pact can complement the continental trade agreement and could serve as a model to be replicated by other individual countries.

“If we are successful in these negotiations, Kenya can act as a lead or guide,” the President said. “We will be the guinea pig so that many other African countries can follow suit.”

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But Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, who also spoke at Friday’s forum, said the US has paid more attention to the possibility of a bilateral deal with Kenya than to the multilateral Africa trade agreement that will soon come into force.

While hailing the significance of a US-Kenya trade deal, Mr Akufo-Addo lamented that “the emphasis of America on exploring opportunities on the continent has not been quite as intense as some of us would have wished.”

Florizelle Liser, chief executive of the Corporate Council on Africa, said in an interview following the forum that the US has in fact worked to facilitate the Africa-wide trade agreement.A bilateral deal with Kenya is not an impediment to Africa’s efforts to forge a multilateral free-trade grouping, she added. The US side “understands that Kenya is part of the EAC,” Ms Liser said.

“They’re already looking at ways they can pull in other East African countries.”It could take as long as two years to conclude a Kenya-US trade deal, she added.

President Kenyatta noted in his remarks to the forum that Kenya was especially keen to start bilateral negoti-ations with the US because the existing multilateral preferential trade package known as Agoa is due to expire in 2025.

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But President Akufo-Addo is not prepared to acquiesce to that projected termination date for Agoa. African countries that have benefited from Agoa should “look at the possibility of extending it,” he said.

Ms Liser, whose 27-year-old association includes most US companies operating in Africa, pointed out that it is up to the US Congress to decide whether Agoa’s scheduled expiration in five years will actually come to pass.The still-spreading pandemic is in-tensifying Africa’s need for increased trade and investment, the Kenyan and Ghanaian heads of state agreed.

Kenya managed to save many lives through swift implementation of virus-containment measures, Mr Kenyatta noted.

But, he acknowledged, those moves led to a sharp economic contraction and widespread loss of livelihoods.President Akufo-Addo pointed out that Ghana has recorded one of the lowest virus-related death rates in the world.His country has counted 15,473 cases of coronavirus, resulting in 95 deaths.Kenya has reported only about one-third as many cases but has seen 135 lives lost to the pandemic.

At the same time, Kenya Airways (KQ), grounded for the past three months by the coronavirus pandemic, will resume domestic flights in “the next couple of days,” President Kenyatta said.

The return to in-country service will coincide with the lifting of Kenya’s lockdown on travel between counties, Mr Kenyatta noted.The government will soon set a date for KQ to resume flying internationally, the President added.

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“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we are back in the skies,” Mr Kenyatta said.“We’re eager to open up, but we have to make sure we all stay safe.”

The President’s announcement came on the same day that KQ chief executive Allan Kilavuka revealed that the airline has lost an estimated $100 million so far this year due to the pandemic and related lockdowns.Losses could approach $500 million by the end of 2020, Mr Kilavuka added.KQ had been struggling financially long before the coronavirus emerged.

It lost about $122 million in 2019, compared to $71 million the previous year.

By Sunday Nation.

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Business

Guide on How to shop at Maasai market

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One of the most interesting things about this market is that it’s held at different locations within town every day.

Monday- There’s no market on this day

Tuesday-Kijabe street (CBD)

Wednesday- Capital center

Thursday -Junction mall

Friday-village market

Saturday-Court of appeal parking

Sunday- Yaya center (CBD)

  • At each of these locations, the market runs from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm.

Pro tips

  • Prices differ depending on location, you get things cheapest on the days the market is in CBD rather than at village market or Yaya center which are high-end shopping centers.
  • Visit the market around evening hours, you get things at a cheaper price this time compared to lunch hours.

Goods to get here

  • There’s a variety of things you can get here, all from deep Maasai land, here are some:
  1. Maasai sandals
  2. Shukas (African shows)
  3. Kiondos ( African reed-made baskets)
  4. Artwork, sculptures, and carvings
  5. Other types of bead objects such as jewelry and belts

User submitted photo of Nairobi

User submitted photo of Nairobi

User submitted photo of Nairobi

User submitted photo of Nairobi

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