Some Kenyans at the Boston Marathon finishing line Pic: Sam Mwaura/Samrack Media
How Diaspora can seize the Big 4 Agenda Specifically in Housing
Author: George Wachiuri
Housing is part of the Big 4 and several opportunities present themselves looking for available investors to pick these hanging fruit.
Here are three ways on how dispora can be part of this:
1. Invest as a group: We have several Saccos, groups & adhoc conglomerations of optimistic individuals who have focused their eyes on investing in Kenya.
I happened to be part of Optiven team currently touring and meeting groups, individuals and families in America & Europe and I can confirm that there are great & wonderful things dispora are doing, though silently. Our partnership with diaspora clients is not only selling value added plots but also letting, managing, leasing, construction, advisory and selling their property on their behalf.
This is the solution that many have been looking for over the years. Optiven as a social organization is doing this in line with its bigger vision of Economically and Socially empowering and transforming the Society. We have partnered heavily with our esteemed diaspora communities & this will increase & solve housing deficit in Kenya. We have seen groups buy values added plots in bulk with vision of building affordable houses for sale
2. *Investing as a limited company*: The Kenyans has opened up impressively to register companies in USA and a branch in Kenya. Many are pleased that registration of companies is taking less time than before.
Many of the diaspora owned companies recognize that housing option requires land and funding. We have noted the formation of Special purpose Vehicles (SPV) meant to Seize the opportunities.
During Optiven investment tour, these opportunities were discussed where Optiven offers value added land (with water, sewer system, power, solar street lighting and greening) and diaspora registered companies offer finding to set up homes in various counties. This will boost government target of 500, 000 homes. It will certainly be a game-changer and we hope more Kenyan companies can be able to replicate this. These are opportunities that all can Seize.
3. *The Dynamic power of Diaspora saccos*: There are over 70 saccos in the Diaspora. These saccos are ripe to jump into the available opportunity of coming up with thousands of Homes in Kenya. These saccos need not to buy land as this is putting members’ money to extremely high risk.
Sourcing land in Kenya is more worrying and difficult than actual selling. Such risk need to be borne by experienced companies like Optiven and others. For instance Optiven have been in business for 20 years now. Such company are able to absorb the risks involved. For instance, if the land become questionable, it is possible to swap or it is possible to refund. Having this is mind, saccos need to partner with companies like Optiven to deliver serious projects that offer Kenyans thousands of Houses
During our tour, this was discussed and we look forward to partnering with more saccos to help make the Big 4 agenda a reality. Optiven now heads to St Louis Missouri for a big Event on Saturday 28th and one on one from 29th July to 1st August, we head to Atlanta to support massive KWITU Event and thereafter to North Carolina to push the Big 4 agenda.
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