Digital training programme
The government has expanded internet coverage across the country to enhance access to online information and business opportunities for Kenyans.
Information and Communications Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said all 47 counties have been connected with the fibre optic cable so as to scale up internet usage that will in turn spur economic growth.
“Access to ICT will contribute to Kenya’s economic growth by reducing transaction costs, increasing business efficiency, improving educational standards, and ensuring accountability on the part of government officials,” he said.
The CS said through partnership with Members of Parliament, innovation hubs will be established in all 290 constituencies where free wifi will be available for use by the locals to interface and do business with others across the world.
“ICT, he said, has been identified as an enabler of development urging Kenyans to take advantage of the available infrastructure and tap into the over 10 million online jobs to empower themselves economically.
Online work, he said was critical in addressing the country’s unemployment where over one million graduates enter the job market annually.
He said the government has introduced Ajira digital Programme to enable young people access work opportunities available online and provide them with the right tools, awareness, infrastructure, skills, training, mentorship and access to dignified work that can earn them a decent income.
“Our ultimate goal is to directly support one million young Kenyans across the country to find and complete work online by end of 2017,” said the CS.
Mobile telephone usage in Kenya, he said has increased tremendously with over 40 million mobile phones imported into the country annually.
He challenged Kenyans to be innovative and develop software and applications that provide solutions to modern problems and make a living out of it.
The CS made the remarks at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu when he launched a digital training programme for 3, 000 youths from the lakeside county.
The programme targets people whose level of education is Standard 8 and below to enable them use ICT to generate money.
The Principal Secretary State Department for Broadcasting and Communications Mr. Sammy Itemere challenged the youth to turn social media into economy media.
He said the huge presence of the youth online could be turned into meaningful use if they tap into the available job opportunities, adding that the government has instituted measures to tap into youth talent and enable them make money through art.
The Ministry of ICT, he said, will conduct trainings to sensitize the youth on the available opportunities and how to take advantage of them in order to end unemployment.
Itemere said one of the initiatives was Studio Mashinani through which five ultra modern studios have been set up in Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos and Kisumu to enable the youth record music, film and poetry.
The productions, he said shall be aired by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation to help in marketing them and to make money.
Kisumu County Executive Committee Member (CEC) in charge of ICT Mr. Michael Onyango said the digital training programme sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, County Government of Kisumu and Google seeks to have at least one person per household equipped with ICT skills.
Kisumu has been recognised for her efforts in the uptake of government open data where it was ranked number one countrywide.
By Chris Mahandara