Working in Nairobi

Few expats working in Nairobi relocate to Kenya without a job offer. Most come under the umbrella of an already negotiated contract, and in some cases, with a lucrative employment package.

It is the largest metropolis in East Africa and serves as the main commercial centre of Kenya. Nairobi has a relatively well developed industrial centre and is home to the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE).

To work in Nairobi, expats must have a work permit, which companies apply for on behalf of their employees. These documents are not normally approved unless the prospective employers can show evidence that they have been unable to fill the particular post due to lack of suitably qualified personnel in the Kenya labour market. Expats should not relocate until their permits have been secured.

Job opportunities in Nairobi

It's not easy for expats to find jobs in Nairobi and most are brought to the city on pre-secured contracts. Most opportunities are in the tourism, teaching, advertising and journalism sectors, but it is unlikely expats will find available positions formally advertised. Most post openings are communicated through word of mouth, so it's advisable for one to join expat forums and, if able to visit the country in person, to attend meet-ups to get to know other expats in Nairobi.

Agriculture has always been the driving force of the economy in Kenya, but the industry sector that is causing a lot of recent buzz is IT. Expats who would like to do business in Kenya should look for opportunities in this sector, as well as in the relief and development sector.

Owen Wandago Our Expat Expert

A writer for City Scape Limited, a relocation and concierge service for expat and local business executives and employees.

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