16 April 2014

Kenya: Govt to Speed Up Work Permits for ICT Experts

Nairobi — The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology plans to work closely with the Interior Ministry to facilitate faster issuance of work permits for foreign ICT experts. ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said his ministry will focus on helping the foreign experts follow the right processes while applying for the permits and avoid delays.

He said his ministry will be coordinating with the Interior Ministry and ensure that the country only gets the right experts needed in the ICT sector. "We have had conversations with our colleagues in the Ministry of Interior and agreed that we will work with them to facilitate issuance of permits where necessary," the CS said. "Several ICT companies have come to us either frustrated a bit or anxious that the process of applying for their experts has taken longer."

The most affected companies are those relocating to Kenya or want to open subsidiaries in the country. The biggest challenge he said is that most of the foreign professionals do not properly understand the process of applying for the permits by ensuring they give all the documents required by the Interior Ministry hence causing delays.

"You would find that the team leader for a company like Microsoft is a citizen from a country in Africa who would need some clearance. What we have done with the ICT Authority is that you can come and work with us and then we work with immigration department so that when they need explanation on what this means to the ICT sector, we can explain to them," Matiang'i said.

The ministry has now equipped some members of staff at the ICT Authority who will act as a guidance to the applicants of the work permits. Matiang'i however maintains that it will only be a facilitator without interfering with the operations at the Interior Ministry as far as work permits are concerned.

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking during the ongoing Connected Kenya Summit in Mombasa organised by the ICT Authority.

The two day summit has brought together over 500 professionals from both the government and the private sector under the theme "Breaking the Barriers".

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