Kenya banks on enhanced labor mobility to boost foreign exchange earnings


Kenya has enacted a sound policy and legislative framework to promote migration of skilled labor force overseas and shore up foreign exchange earnings, senior officials said Friday.

The officials made the remarks at a forum convened by the International Organization for Migration in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. They said a regulated and orderly approach to labor mobility offers solutions to unemployment and contributes to the country’s economic vitality.

Roseline Njogu, principal secretary in the State Department for Diaspora Affairs, underscored the government’s commitment to leveraging structured labor mobility to expand employment opportunities for skilled youth and boost diaspora remittances.

IOM Kenya’s Chief of Mission Dimanche Sharon said the mobility of skilled labor is important for fostering innovation, technology transfer and capital flow to revitalize vital sectors like manufacturing, highlighting the potential benefits for Kenya in terms of remittances, cultural diplomacy, trade and integration by exporting its youthful workforce overseas.

Julius Bitok, principal secretary in the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services, said that Kenya has 3 million citizens living and working abroad, contributing to foreign currency inflows totaling 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

Bitok outlined the government’s intention to harness the expertise of the skilled workforce abroad to mentor and impart lifelong skills to local youth exiting tertiary institutions, aiming to further develop the domestic workforce.

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