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Economy

Kenya signs deal to export 100,000 workers to the UAE

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed takes President Uhuru Kenyatta through the Kenya Diaspora Policy during its launch at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on January 20th 2015. BILLY MUTAI |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The government has secured 100,000 jobs for Kenyans willing to work in the United Arab Emirates, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has said.

She said the deal was sealed during President Kenyatta’s trip to the Gulf country last year. The minister did not however give details on which sectors the vacancies are or how Kenyans will apply.

She was speaking during the launch of the Kenya Foreign and Diaspora Policies at Kenyatta International Convention Centre yesterday. The event was attended by President Kenyatta, diplomats and businesspeople.

The document stipulates that the government will sign bilateral agreements with foreign countries to protect Kenyans working in the diaspora.

The government will also conduct pre-departure training for migrant workers and students going overseas, inform those travelling through travel advisories and register Kenyans abroad using embassies.

“The policy will strengthen regulatory framework for employment agencies and review the Labour Institutions Act, 2007,” states the document.

Those residing outside the country will also find it easier to make their remittances with the government exploring alternative and cheaper channels of remitting money.

Kenyans in the diaspora will also be assisted to invest back home and consular services enhanced .

“The number of Kenyans abroad is estimated to be three million and is continuously on the rise,” said Ms Mohammed during the launch.
Ms Mohammed said inward formal remittances according to the Central Bank of Kenya records stood at Sh113 billion in 2013, accounting for about 3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Earlier, the President held a panel discussion on trade and international relations. Businessman Chris Kirubi also participated in the discussion.
Mr Kirubi was invited to the panel after questioning why there was no representative from the business community.

President asked Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to leave the panel and give way to the businessman.

The chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kiprono Kittony wanted to know what plans the government had to link the private sector with the diaspora.

Mr Kirubi suggested that the government should open commercial offices abroad to fast track investments. President Kenyatta said Kenya will support efforts to foster peace and fight against terrorism.

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