By Al Musasia
January 19, 2018
Kenyans in the Diaspora have always yearned for a financial platform to consolidate and direct their investable income in a rational and organized manner. This is clearly evident by the several investment groups in the form of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs). SACCOs serve their members in an informal manner and yet play an important role in consolidating resources that are redirected towards investments of their choice. Up until now, Kenyans in the United States have relied on this private investment clubs for financial stability. However, that’s about to change.
Diaspora Federal Credit Union
A cross section of Kenyan leaders determined that the unique financial needs of Kenyans in the US warrant the establishment of a formal federally licensed deposit bank to handle the financial needs of Kenya’s Diaspora. The demand for ease access of deposit accounts, investment platform, and financial products such as mortgages, car loans, and insurance, just to mention a few.
The economic impact of the proposed Diaspora Federal Credit Union (www.diasporafcu.org), as a platform to consolidate Diaspora’s investable capital will be immense and have a positive impact not only on Kenyans in the United States but also back home in Kenya. According to David Ochwangi, one of the lead organizers of the initiative, the group has set in motion the licensing process of which they hope to get the nod from the Federal government’s National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) later in the year. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) is equivalent to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a body that insures member deposits and maintains stability and consumer confidence in the U.S financial system.
The Diaspora Federal Credit Union will serve members of the diaspora in all 50 states through shared services. It’s main office will likely be in Dallas, Texas or Atlanta, Georgia
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recently approved an application for Field of Membership (FOM) classification filed by the Diaspora Federal Credit Union sponsors under the umbrella of the Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations, Inc. (AKDOI). The FOM is a critical preliminary step that puts the applicants a step closer to obtaining the license to operate the Bank.
As per Mr. Ochwangi, who is also the AKDOi Chairman, the Diaspora is at the cusp of reconstituting of the Diaspora’s economy for the benefit of all its members.
As part of the package to be submitted for licensing, the NCUA requires surveys of potential members to determine the viability of the credit union in serving the greater Kenyan Diaspora community. To that end you are invited to take a few minutes to fill this survey on this link, https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfN-HDdRpbjx23CeV8-hxsygpVBwjUBjGq0mP6bx3Rsn_GNsg/viewform?c=0&w=1 .
Membership – The proposed Diaspora Federal Credit Union is for the entire Diaspora Community and all are welcome. Please take a moment to sign up and become a part of this great movement, http://www.diasporafcu.org/register.php .
The Diaspora Federal Credit Union idea is long overdue. With Tens or perhaps Thousands of Kenyans in the United States alongside other Immigrants if African origin, it’s about time Africans became investors and business owners in the United States. The Diaspora Federal Credit Union will be the bridge that will link most Kenyans dreams and reality.
Take a moment and complete the survey using the above link to support fellow Kenyans on this great initiative. Let’s emulate the Jews and prosper.