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Ajira Digital programme helping youth to earn a living

Over 60,000 youth have been trained under the Ajira Digital programme across the country since its inception five years ago, joining the millions of Kenyans making a living by doing online jobs.

ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru, said there has been a growing number of people taking online jobs since Covid-19 pandemic struck the Country and that the government has been facilitative by increasing areas under internet connectivity.

In a speech read by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation Secretary Administration, Lucy Mulili, Mucheru said the Country has over 8,000 kilometers of internet fiber reaching even in the remoteness of villages.

He said reduced internet charges and other free government internet connections like the NOFBI which is installed at Constituency Innovation Hubs (CIH) and government offices has facilitated the increase uptake of the programme.

The CS said the programme has changed the lives of several youth, citing Johnstone Kepkemboi pursuing a Diploma at the Technical University of Mombasa, who he said, is earning Sh10,000 weekly working on graphic design from Fiverr.com.

Another student is Rioba Joseph John, from Multimedia University who is earning an average of Sh50,000 monthly working as a virtual assistant.

“We have several success stories of this Ajira programme. Due to high unemployment, it is time for the youth to embrace ICT as an alternative employment. Online work is the way to go and the opportunities in the digital work space surpasses the number of digital workers,” said the CS during the launch of Zetech University, Ajira Digital Club, yesterday.

He said the Ministry has hired 100 Ajira trainees as Ajira digital trainers and mentors to help those willing to take the programme.

Some of the online jobs in Ajira include transcription, digital marketing, virtual assistance, data entry and management and online writing.

He at the same time said that the Ministry, working closely with Members of Parliament (MPs), has opened over 200 CIHs across the country where youths can visit and work online.

The hubs are fully furnished with furniture and internet connection and have trainers who help the youth in accessing the online jobs. He said they target to have four CIHs in each constituency.

On the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP), the CS said that the Ministry gives 400 fresh graduates a chance to intern each year, so as to get the necessary skills to make it in the job environment.

Zetech Vice Chancellor, Prof. Njenga Munene, welcomed the programme, saying as an Institution that offers ICT courses, they will ensure more students are enrolled in the programme.

He also called for more government collaboration to have CIH at the University so as to help the many jobless youth in Ruiru Constituency.

“Given the high unemployment rates in our country, colleges should enroll their students into this Ajira programme to empower their students to earn through online jobs,” said Prof. Munene.

By Senan Kawira and Muoki Charles

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