Kenya is in talks with three countries in the Middle East to establish bilateral labor agreements. The discussions are aimed at creating work opportunities for the many unemployed Kenyans. The country already has labor agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the chairperson of Kenya National Employment Authority Winnie Pertet, the agreements will formalize employment terms and improve the working conditions for Kenyan workers in the Middle East.
Approximately half a million Kenyans work in the Gulf countries. Most of the laborers work in people’s homes or semi-skilled roles.
Ms. Winnie Pertet hopes that the discussions will open up better-paying jobs for Kenyans. “Our hope is that we can also place Kenyans in the skilled sectors which are more lucrative,” she said.
Ms. Winnie also noted that only authorized employment agencies will be allowed to take Kenyan workers to the Middle East. One hundred agencies have been licensed to operate in the country. The senior official at the government agency expects to sign employment agreements with the Arab nations by the end of 2019.