Ajira Digital Programme Receives Financial Empowerment Grant
The Rockefeller Foundation Africa on Tuesday extended a Sh100 million grant to help the Ajira Digital Programme of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MoICT).
The grant which has been extended through Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) will go towards training 10,000 youth and apprentices on how to seek and secure online jobs.
While making the announcement at the ongoing Connected Summit 2017, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the ministry’s objective was to directly support 1 million young Kenyans across the country to find and compete for jobs online by the end of 2017.
“The pursuit of an empowered, engaged and involved youth population cannot be fulfilled through my Ministry alone; neither can it be delivered by government action alone. We require all stakeholders to pull resources and capacity together for greater impact and sustainable results,” he said.
The Ajira Digital programme is a multi-sectoral government initiative aiming at introducing young people to online jobs and provide the tools, training and mentorship needed for them to work and earn a decent income through online jobs.
The Chief Executive Officer of KEPSA Carole Kariuki and the Managing Director of Rockfeller Foundation Africa Regional Office Mamadou Bitaye witnessed the financial support agreement.
Under phase 1 of the Programme, KEPSA will oversee the development of the Ajira Digital training curriculum and the assigning of the trained apprentices to identified experienced workers and online freelancers.
Mucheru explained, that the government had availed strong internet infrastructure across the 47 counties and which was the single most important component in the digital initiative.
“In this regard, we are currently rolling out the Constituency Innovation Hubs project in partnership with Members of Parliament and the National Government Constituency Development Fund Board to provide free Wi-Fi in four locations in each of the 290 constituencies,” he said.
The ministry, he explained will seek to expand the project’s reach and create more demand for online work, as well as work with stakeholders to position Kenya as a destination of choice for skilled online workers.
The CS who was accompanied by Principal Secretaries Victor Kyalo (ICT and Innovations) and Sammy Itemere (Broadcasting and Telecommunications) said the boundaries between the digital and physical spaces are increasingly being blurred and in the process ‘creating new opportunities for digital business the world over’.
“Currently 48 million people worldwide find work online out of which 100,000 are in Africa where 41,000 of them are actually Kenyans,” he said.
By Hussein Abdullahi