NAIROBI, Feb 12 (AFP): No longer content to be known solely for wildlife safaris and savory coffee, Kenyan officials have begun marketing the east African nation as a destination for companies looking to outsource labor.
Following India's lead, Kenya, where two-thirds of the 32 million population live below the poverty line, is pinning its hopes for economic recovery on international companies looking for affordable, efficient employees.
The country's ministry of information and technology has launched an ambitious initiative to create 30,000 new jobs this year alone by establishing outsourcing incubators at three universities and several local information technology firms.
"So many educated university graduates are walking around the streets with no jobs," said the ministry's permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo. "This plan presents a real opportunity for anyone with a desire to work hard and earn money."
Fewer than 200 Kenyans are currently working in outsourcing- related jobs, but officials see that number skyrocketing as companies realize the potential of the country's well-educated, English-speaking youth.