Kenyas economy is not growing as fast as it should to absorb all the fresh graduates every year from universities. This has been one of the major reasons why Kenyans still go to seek for employment in the middle east, despite knowing how badly some of them are treated by their employers in this oil rich regions.
On May 2019, the government through the Labour CS Ukur Yatani, announced it will export its workers abroad, especially to the middle east to order to contain the high number of unemployment especially among the youths.
According to the world Bank, middle east countries have an average Income Per Capita of sh7.1 million compared to Kenyas sh3,250. The government gave the affirmation to Labour ministry for the exportation despite it being aware of the traumatising experiences that many have gone throuhg in the hands of their employers in the middle east, particularly in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Following the government agreement, east Africa economic powerhouse is expected to send atleast 100,000 workers to Saudi Arabia alone. Yatani said the country has entered bilateral agreements with countries to host Kenyan workers, including the welfare and salary of the workers.
He said he government will ensure suitable insurance schemes and better housing facilities. Consfication of Kenyan passports when they land in the middle east will stop following the agreements since Labour attaches have been dispatched to the Middle East. Those to be flown out will go through mandatory training before departure. The training will involve education on their rights.
According to a report by World Poverty Clock released in 2018, Kenya is ranked 8th in the world and 6th in Africa with the highest number of people living in total poverty. 14.7 million Kenyans are extremely poor as they earn less than sh200 per day. This is despite the United Nations through the programe of Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) working tirelesslyto reduce the number of people living in poverty by 2030. Poverty has becomne the main catalyst of migration.
As Kenya agreed to export its labour to the Middle East, Qatar in return accepted to open its market for Kenyan meat and meat products.