Manama, April 17: Over 100,000 Kenyans soon will move to work in Saudi Arabia if negotiations between the two countries succeed. Saudi will hire skilled and semi-skilled workers such as nurses and technicians as well as for Kenyan meat.
The recruitment option was part of the talks between the two countries last week when Saudi Arabia’s Commerce minister Majed Bin Abdullah Al Kassabi led a delegation of government officials and business people from the private sector for the meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Notably, Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was on a one-day State visit to Kenya on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia’s Commerce minister Majed bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi led a delegation of 70 people from the private sector and government officials for talks with Nairobi.
According to the sources, Saudi Arabia and Kenya agreed to work together on a number of issues. The Saudi delegation had a meeting with seven cabinet secretaries and the two sides decided that a government-to-government agreement that will allow Kenya to purchase Saudi crude oil at subsidized prices would soon be negotiated.
However, another government-to-government agreement in order for Kenya to import fertilizer at cheaper rates from Saudi Arabia was also decided at the meeting.
“This is about continued engagement with a key Middle East country in securing opportunities for Kenyans,” Manoah Esipisu, the President’s spokesperson, was quoted as saying. “The President recognizes that he must continue to seek and deliver decent jobs for Kenyan people, and that’s exactly what he is doing.”
Importantly, in 2015, the government said it had secured 100,000 jobs in the United Arab Emirates and up to now nothing has been heard of the deal. In the new deal with Saudi Arabia, the Middle East economic powerhouse will negotiate with Kenya for skilled and semi-skilled workers such as nurses and technicians. Both the two governments agreed to continue addressing the thorny issue of domestic workers who suffer in the hands of their employers in Saudi Arabia.
Interestingly, more than one-third of Saudi Arabia’s total population of 31,742,308 are foreigners, mainly unskilled workers in the construction and service sectors from Asian countries.