Rwandans, Ugandans and Kenyans will soon be free to set up businesses and look for jobs across borders without any restrictions once the three East African countries have endorsed a new agreement later this year that seeks to open up their job markets to each other.
The deal, negotiated under the Northern Corridor Initiative, is a timely venture and should be supported by all stakeholders.
However, while it is a noble cause, it’s a process that’s prone to abuse. Opening up labour markets will certainly come with increased competition, thus unscrupulous individuals are likely to turn to desperate measures to gain unfair advantage over other job seekers, including forgery of academic papers.
To avoid situations where people cheat their way to jobs because of counterfeit documents or other unacceptable means, which in effect comprises quality of work, it is important that precautionary measures are taken before hand.
While the process to open up the regional job market continue, regulatory agencies in the participating states should devise ways of working more closely among themselves and with learning institutions to deter and detect such abuses.
Already, within individual states, cases of forging academic papers are on the rise as people seek to deceitfully get the required academic documents to land jobs.
The responsible education regulatory bodies in the three countries should be in position to verify academic documents of people who cross from one country to another in search of jobs, to protect the integrity of this great initiative.
Employers should also take an extra effort to verify academic documents of people before they could hire them.