Going to Nairobi to look for a job

Hi there!

I recently graduated as MSc in Political Science from Denmark. During my studies I had a lot of focus on Africa and especially on the topic China's engagement in Africa. For my thesis I did field study in Kampala in Uganda. My dream would be to get a career in Nairobi or another African capital. I have been applying from Denmark for several jobs in NGOs, which are based in Kenya and other Sub Saharan African countries without any success. As newly graduated I don’t have a lot of work experience, however I got a PRINCE2 Practioner certificate (project management).

I would like hear your opinion on my idea on just trying my luck by going to Nairobi for around two weeks, and looking for jobs there. Is this crazy idea, or could there be some opportunities in it? Have you heard about other people doing the same thing, and do you have any suggestions on how to improve my chances?


There are often NGO jobs advertised here, but many of them ask for previous NGO experience of several years. Competition in the Kenyan job market is fierce, as there are a lot of potential Kenyan applicants qualified to Masters level. 

The main issue with coming and trying your luck is likely to be the work permit, in my opinion. It would be your employer who applies for the work permit on your behalf.  Applications take time and you do not have a right to remain in Kenya beyond the duration of your visa (3 months, extendable by 3 months) while an application for a work permit is being considered.

I also think that two weeks in Kenya is too little in terms of time for job seeking. NGO adverts tend to appear on Fridays (at least in the Daily Nation). There are also a number of online sites, such as Brighter Monday that may be worth checking.

My opinion. Don't travel to Kenya to look for a job especially if you have no idea where exactly you looking. For a political Science graduate especially may be tricky without experience and also most employers don't want to start the process of starting the process of getting a work permit for a person who they are not sure will deliver. my two cents if you really wanna move to Kenya at the moment why don't you explore the option of volunteer services. with this the work permit will be less expensive and also many NGOs will offer you the chance to get the experience you need. on the brighter side you will also get to familiarize yourself with the employers through interactions and maybe after an year if lucky land your dream job... all the best. Also check the online sites that advertise for jobs in kenya.

The cost of a work permit is the same......there is no special cheaper permit for volunteers.  Although many will do it, it is illegal to work as a volunteer without a work permit.

For many, starting as a volunteer for such as VSO, is the way to get into an NGO career.

Hello, first I hope you know English is our national language. Aside from that it's very easy to get a job in Kenya. Contact me at ***
I in turn would love to live in Denmark.

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : do not post personal contact details here for your own security

Am sorry Damaris, I's not easy at all for a foreigner to get a job in Kenya.

Amongst other things, getting a work permit is challenging and becoming more so, at least to work legally. I wouldn't suggest working may get away with it for a while, but there are people willing to blow the whistle.

Jobs generally are not in plenty, otherwise the unemployment level wouldn't be as high.

Hi Jacob try reading a newspaper for jobs  also check on brighter Monday's page on the daily.  Do more research by googling jobs in your area of study.  Hope you get help. Good luck.

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