Academic Writing Emerges as Kenya’s Top Foreign Exchange Earner

Academic writing overtook Tourism, Diaspora remittance, loans and proceeds from hacking to become the top foreign exchange earner in Kenya in the first nine months of 2020.

In the report published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Academic writing was noted to have played a crucial role in sustaining the economy even as other sectors got a big hit from Covid-19. Loans also emerged as a primary source of income for Kenya with over $ 25,000 borrowed by the government every day.

A new entrant in this category was proceeds from hacking, with Kenyan based hackers having brought the country millions of dollars. The increase in hacking was attributed to a positive environment that was afforded by Covid-19, where many activities moved online and people were working from home where there is less security monitoring.

Dying Diaspora Dollars

The statistics also showed a huge decline in diaspora remittance, something that could be attributed to a previous error that misassigned dollars from academic writing to diaspora remittance. With the new adjustment, diaspora remittance has been greatly reduced and academic writing firmly holds Kenya’s future in its hand.

“A lot of what was assumed to be diaspora remittance actually turned out to be proceeds from academic writing. We have refactored this and the results show that academic writing is the golden goose as far as foreign exchange is concerned. We will continue to support this industry in a way that we can reap maximum benefits from the industry.”

Little Known Academic Writing

While many technocrats were shocked by the new report, everybody who cared to listen to what was happening on the ground knows that this has been the case for a long time, with many ‘writing bureaus’ having sprung up in many urban areas in Kenya. For those who may not be aware, academic writing is an occupation where poor bright Kenyan students assist their rich weak colleagues in Europe and the US with their college assignments.

The industry has been very successful in Kenya with Kenya controlling 90% of the academic writing market in the world. Kenyan students and graduates have managed to sustain many US and UK students, with some undergraduate students in Kenya helping PhD students overseas with their dissertations. So skilled are Kenyans that a second-year student studying Mathematics is able to handle a dissertation for a Nursing PhD student in the US.

With increased unemployment, academic writing will remain the new normal in Kenya.


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