Yesterday, a significant agreement was made between the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) ,The Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK), Kenya association of private employment agencies (KAPEA) and Syndicate of the Owners of Recruitment Agencies in Lebanon (SORAL).
This evening the organizations addressed the members of the 4th estate to discuss how they plan to put the agreement into action.
The Chairman of ASMAK, Mr. Francis Wahome, thanked KNCCI for helping to create a partnership with SORAL in Lebanon. He noted that the partnership will make it easier for recruitment agencies to work with Lebanon.
Mr. Juma Omar Mwangala, the Chairman of KAPEA, talked about how this partnership will benefit the labor export market. He also asked SORAL to make sure employees’ rights are protected and mentioned that Lebanese employers have valuable skills to offer, which can be shared with Kenyan workers. He believes that by following the agreement and working together, they can fill over 1500 job openings in Lebanon.
He urged KNCCI,which works with many countries to help prevent illegal immigration. He also suggested that SORAL should have representatives from both ASMAK and KAPEA in Lebanon to handle any unexpected problems.
The President of SORAL, Mr. Joseph Kamal, thanked KNCCI for their warm welcome. He said that Kenyan workers are excellent and represent their culture well. He promised to work closely with ASMAK, KAPEA, and Lebanese unions to make sure everyone follows the rules.Mr. Kamal also expressed his determination to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce in Lebanon to safeguard labor rights, in harmony with KNCCI’s vision.
Member of the Public Petitions committee, Hon Muriuki Nebart Bernard, talked about how this partnership is important for addressing unemployment. He shared insights into the government’s push for more affordable medical tests, thus relieving the financial burden on immigrants by having the testes done by government entities.
Ms. Jane Nyandolo, Director of Immigration Kenya, commended the agencies and KNCCI for their tireless efforts in social and economic development. She reassured attendees of streamlined passport issuance and visa facilitation, with a specialized desk catering to skilled labor immigrants for expedited processing.
The Chamber President Dr. Erick Rutto, expressed KNCCI’s enthusiasm for addressing the big problem of unemployment in our country through this partnership. He mentioned that KNCCI aims to help the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) by providing an ethical and legal way to send workers abroad.
Dr. Rutto also highlighted the importance of remittances sent back home by our migrant workers. These remittances help families, communities, and our nation as a whole. They enable access to education, healthcare, housing, and other basic needs. Moreover, they boost our local and national economies by increasing spending and investments. Kenya has been one of the top African countries in receiving remittances, with over $4.027 billion in 2022. This money has played a vital role in reducing poverty, building infrastructure, and creating new business opportunities.
He emphasized that this partnership will not only promote sending skilled workers abroad but also trading products, which will strengthen Kenya’s economy as a whole.
Additionally, because SORAL is connected to the International Labor Organization (ILO), KNCCI plans to propose training programs on human rights for recruitment agencies to ILO in Kenya.
KNCCI is also considering offering Certificates of Origin not only for products but also for skilled labor. This will help keep track of skilled and unskilled workers leaving the country to different places.
Furthermore, KNCCI is eager to collaborate more with Lebanon through the Chamber of Commerce in Lebanon to establish a process for accrediting labor exports.
Dr. Rutto concluded by assuring everyone of KNCCI’s unwavering commitment to implementing the MOU. The event was attended by KNCCI national directors M, county chairpersons, members of ASMAK, KAPEA, and representatives from SORAL.