Charities, or NGOs, working in Kenya risk losing their licenses if they fail to comply with new tough rules about employing foreign workers. Therefore, authorities say that, with some exceptions, foreigners should not be employed if there are Kenyans who can do the job.
The large disparity between what foreigners and Kenyans can earn has also been criticised. An estimated 240,000 people work for NGOs in Kenya, mostly local staff.
Kenya is a regional hub for NGOs, with aid agencies working in countries from Democratic Republic of Congo to South Sudan based in the country. Charities play a large role in providing essential services in Kenya, observers say, with some running schools and clinics.Follow @newslexpoint
One international NGO told media that higher pay for foreign workers was essential as they are working far from home.
‘Ignoring the law’
It says that foreigners can only be employed when there is no Kenyan available with the same skills, or when they are essential to the running of the charity, or when they are committed to training people to replace them.
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The enticement of working for an NGO is evident in Kenya. Jobs in aid organisations in Kenya are seen as among the most lucrative due to the pay and benefits compared to other jobs.
For a long time, tensions have been brewing between Kenyan and foreign staff, as many locals are angry over what they see as unfair treatment. Expatriate employees enjoy large allowances, security, housing, a vehicle and comprehensive attractive medical insurance.
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