In Brief

Kenya in jobs deal with Canada to boost remittances

An increasing number of Kenyans could secure high paying jobs in Canada following talks between the two countries on aligning the training of healthcare workers.

President William Ruto said Kenya will align the training of health workers at the Kenya Medical Training College and technical and vocational institutions with the Canadian curricula with a view to meeting the needs of the North American country’s job market.

“Kenya’s workforce is our greatest resource. It is well-trained and hardworking. Even as we invest in sectors that will create employment in the country, opportunities for Kenyans abroad are another way to lift up our young people,” Dr Ruto noted when he met Canadian Foreign Minister Ms Melanie Joly in Nairobi.

To firm up the deal, policymakers from two the countries will hold a meeting in Canada next month to develop a labour migration framework that will enable more Kenyans to secure jobs in the North American country.

Ms Joly also met with Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria where the two agreed to fast-track a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement and a Bilateral Trade Agreement. Canada is one of Kenya’s largest trading partners with bilateral trade exceeding $28 billion in 2021.

In 2021, Kenya and the UK, and Ireland struck a similar deal for the development of recruitment procedures through the relevant institutions for healthcare workers. Progress on the framework has however been marred with secrecy as the number of Kenyans benefiting remains unclear.

Dr Ruto’s government is seeking bilateral agreements on labour with foreign countries including Germany, Saudi Arabia, and UAE as part of solving the joblessness crisis in the country while also boosting diaspora remittances which are averaging $4 billion per year.

The United States and Canada remains Kenya’s biggest source of diaspora remittances with data showing the region accounted for 60.1 percent of the total sum of funds sent into Kenya in 2022.

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