Saudi Arabia looks to hire 100,000 Kenyan workers

Deal, still at negotiation stage, covers skilled, semi-skilled workers

Up to 100,000 Kenyans will move to work in Saudi Arabia if negotiations between the two countries succeed.

Saudi Arabia is interested in recruiting mainly skilled and semi-skilled workers such as nurses and technicians, Kenyan media reported.

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.

According to the Daily Nation, 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 subsidised prices would soon be negotiated.

Another government-to-government agreement in order for Kenya to import fertiliser 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 recognises that he must continue to seek and deliver decent jobs for Kenyan people, and that’s exactly what he is doing.”

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.