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Youth encouraged to take up online jobs 

Information, Communication and technology Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru presents trophies to teachers and students of Vidhu Ramji Primary school for emerging best school in Murang’a County in 2016’s KCPE. 

Photo by Bernard Munyao

The government will provide tools, training and mentorship programmes to the youth in an effort to encourage them embark on online jobs.

Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said the government was focused on enabling over 1 million youth earn above minimum wage from digital platform every year.

Speaking during Murang’a county education day on Saturday, Mucheru said his ministry had developed a programme dubbed “Ajira digital” meant to introduce young people to on-line work platforms and provide them with necessary training to enable them work and earn a decent income.

“We will make deliberate efforts to raise the profile of on-line work and promote Kenya as a capital of global freelance hub,” he added.

To achieve this, Mucheru explained, the government will provide skills and train10, 000 people on the on-line work in the next three months.

Under the programme, he added, the State Department of ICT under his ministry will be tasked to conduct on-line work campaigns and provide infrastructure on the same.

“We are proud that currently, over 40,000 Kenyans work on-line and earn good income,” divulged the CS.

In an effort to create awareness and provide needed infrastructure, Mucheru said the government plans to set up technology centres in the 290 constituencies across the country.

“Every constituency will have one centre called “Constituency Innovation Hub” which will eventually be increased to four bringing to a total of 1,160 innovation hubs countrywide by the end of the project,” he asserted.

Mucheru, who later visited the first Constituency Innovation Hub in Mathioya, said MPs will identify and select the four sites in their constituencies while the national government will provide financing for installations.

These centres, the CS explained, will enable young people in rural areas to take advantage of free Wifi and internet access to have equal opportunity to find on-line work.

In Mathioya constituency, people in Kiriaini area are accessing free WIFI which has been facilitated by National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF).

Area MP, Clement Wambungu said some graduates were using the centre to earn income through online jobs.

“Currently we are working to establish other three Innovation Hubs in Gitugi, Kamacharia and Njumbi/Gacharagaini areas,” said Wambungu.

Mucheru lauded the government’s commitment in connecting government offices and institutions with high- speed internet.

He noted that the government had invested in the deployment of terrestrial fiber connectivity to all the 47 counties’ headquarters through the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI).

“It is on this account that the Government is now able to offer a host of services online, making provision of these services more efficient and cost-effective as well as making the government more accessible to its citizenry,” he further elaborated.

Mucheru added that his Ministry had, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, integrated technology to monitor the administration and marking of national examinations to enhance their credibility and fairness, among all candidates.
By Bernard Munyao

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