The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs is considering a plan to employ Kenyans living in other countries to work at Kenyan diplomatic missions abroad, according to Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. Mutua explained that this strategy is aimed at reducing the expenses associated with running these missions by hiring local residents in the countries where the missions are located instead of sending staff from Nairobi. He made this announcement after meeting with members of the Kenyan diaspora in Australia.
With approximately 3 million Kenyan nationals residing and working overseas, this change in approach seeks to create job opportunities for Kenyans in the diaspora. Additionally, Mutua revealed that discussions are underway to establish Bilateral Labour Agreements with Australia, which would enable Kenyan professionals to work in Australia as experienced workers. He also mentioned plans to collaborate more closely with Australian officials for the mutual benefit of both nations.
During their meeting with Mutua, members of the diaspora shared the challenges they face, including difficulties with visa applications, nursing permits, and sending money back to Kenya. They expressed concerns about their experiences at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where gifts for their families are sometimes confiscated upon arrival. Mutua acknowledged these concerns and agreed that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should consider adopting international best practices to improve the experience for arriving guests.
Kenya currently has a diplomatic presence in 55 embassies and high commissions worldwide, along with 32 consulates and two other representations. Nairobi, the capital city, hosts 93 embassies and high commissions, as well as 43 consulates.