The golden jubilee of mass exodus of Kenyan Asians and settlement in the UK

Tuesday 11th December 2018 09:02 EST

The mass exodus of Kenyan Asians was accelerated in February and March 1968. Indian settlement in Kenya began in earnest from the start of 18th century. At that time Kenya was not a British colony. By 1963, around 179,000 people of south Asian origin predominantly, Indians were living in Kenya.

Their population was less than 2 percent, but trade commerce industry, civil service and other admin jobs were very largely in the Kenya Asians hands. Following Kenya’s independence in 1963, Jomo Kenyatta’s government brought in Kenya Immigration Act 1967, which required work permit for Kenyan Asians who were not citizens. Subsequently the Kenyan government brought in trade licensing act 1967, which limited the areas of the country in which non Kenyans could engage in trade. 

Around 100,000 Kenyan Asians had acquired British citizenship. And the mass immigration of thousands of them, caused a major crisis for the U.K. government of Prime minister Harold Wilson.

The Home Secretary James Callahan, rushed through new legislation aimed specifically at curbing the flow of immigrants from East Africa. The 1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act introduced a requirement to demonstrate a “close connection with the UK.”

By 1969 almost 40,000 Kenyan Asians had moved out, mainly to UK. Their population in Kenya in 1979 was 78,000. More East African Asians moved to UK from Kenya than Tanzania or Uganda.

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will publish a special magazine to celebrate the golden jubilee of their settlement in the UK.

The magazine will contain relevant information about migration from undivided India to East Africa, particularly to Kenya. It will also record their contributions not only in the economy but the society and political emancipation of the Kenyan Africans. We have acquired substantial information from various reports, books and studies on these subjects.

All the new Britons with Kenya connection are invited to submit any relevant information/stories about their own or friends and family’s experience in United Kingdom. We would also like to include success stories of people in public and political life as well as invite entrepreneurs and professionals to send their stories. Any other suggestions on topics are welcome.

Deadline: 20th January 2019

Email: cb.[email protected]

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