Sunday, November 19, 2023 – The vision to export Kenyan human capital hit a hitch yesterday after it was announced that 3,500 Kenyans had failed the basic test for skilled jobs in Kuwait. 

Over 5,000 Kenyans had applied for the jobs President William Ruto’s administration negotiated. 

According to Kenya’s Ambassador to Kuwait, Halima Mahmoud, only 1,500 people passed the test and will travel to the Middle Eastern country in December 2023. 

The Kenyans who had shown interest in skilled job opportunities were subjected to admission tests with only 30 per cent of applicants demonstrating technical knowledge in the positions they were applying for. 

The number of Kenyans travelling to Kuwait will increase significantly in 2024 after the Kenyan government signs a deal to export domestic workers.

Kenya is yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Kuwait to kickstart the process of recruiting domestic workers.

The delay in signing the MoU was attributed to the recent cabinet reshuffle that saw Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua moved to the Tourism docket. 

At the time of the reshuffle in October, Mutua was expected to travel to Kuwait to finalise the deal. 

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi who now heads the Foreign Affairs docket, is yet to announce when the deal will be signed. 

Apart from seeking domestic job opportunities, Musalia will also lobby for direct flights between the two countries.

Ambassador Mahmoud remarked that Kuwait will continue seeking skilled workers from Kenya despite the huge number of applicants failing the test. 

In June, Ruto announced that Kenya was seeking to send 1 million Kenyans to work abroad. 


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