The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Work Permit Crackdown Is Counter-Productive


Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
An aerial view shows the Nairobi city center in Kenya.

THE government is tightening up on work permits for foreigners.

The Star has been told that only two-year non-renewable work permits will now be issued so that Kenyan understudies can take over.

The High Court is now the hearing landmark case of British resident Lucy Hannan who has been refused a work permit and who runs an NGO with activist Maina Kiai.

The government denies that the new regime will especially target British, American and European citizens in retaliation for their lack of cooperation over the ICC.

The government must be careful. Some foreigners bring in specialised skills and experience that assist the Kenyan economy.

And many foreign investors understandably want their own top managers in Kenya.

Kenya still needs foreign investment to achieve the accelerated growth of 10 per cent promised by President Kenyatta. If work permits dry up, investment will dry up too.

In the final analysis, there are 22,000 Britons living in Kenya, and 203,000 Kenyans living in Britain. There are 6,000 Americans in Kenya, and 93,000 Kenyans in the USA.

There are many more Kenyans abroad than there are foreigners here. Kenya would end up losing jobs if these expatriate Kenyans had to return home because of a tit-for-tat retaliation.

Quote of the day: "I, too, am convinced that our ancestors came from Africa." - Kenyan paleontologist Richard Leakey was born on December 19, 1944

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Kenya Issues Stricter Work Permit Regulations

An aerial view shows the Nairobi city center in Kenya.

All foreigners seeking to live and work in Kenya will now be issued with a two year non-renewable work permit. Read more »