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Be Innovative, embrace online work, CAS Mbaka

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has set up Ajira Clubs in various universities across the country to enable students in those institutions access the Ajira Digital Programme.

The government launched the programme with the aim of offering the youth free training and mentorship on how to work online, prepare the youth for the future of work and to earn income online.

Ajira platform can be accessed online through ajiradigital.go.ke and CIHs/ AYECs, where the youth learn how to take up the opportunities provided by the gig economy.

Chief Administrative Secretary, ICT and Broadcasting Ms. Maureen Mbaka said the country has witnessed success stories of students earning online and making some pocket money, through content creation, digital marketing, transcription work and translation.

“Under this programme, we have the aspect of sustainability where we encourage those who have gone through the training and are at the point of earning a living online,” said Mbaka.

She said those who have succeeded were also encouraged to train others and to expand their businesses by hiring other young people.

The CAS who was speaking during the Hult Prize 2022 Campus Finals and Partnership Proposal on Tuesday at the University of Nairobi Towers, said the government has launched several programmes to prepare the youth who were a critical resource to development.

Mbaka said the ICT Ministry encourages innovative youth in the country to take advantage of one of the Huduma Whitebox, a one-stop shop for those interested in presenting, sharing and selling their idea, innovation, invention and solution.

She said the programme has over 1500 registered innovators and around 300 innovations and encouraged the young innovators to access the programme on whitebox.go.ke.

“Through the website, whitebox.go.ke, the youth can forward their innovations and ideas for promotion and support upon evaluation of viability,” stated the CAS.

Mbaka announced that the programme evaluates the innovations and provides linkage to markets and marketing expertise, access to legal guidance, linkage to government funding programme, to research institutions, innovation capacity hubs and centres, to investors and mentors, co-innovation and co-creation.

The e-Learning Portal also provides self-paced modules on business modelling, pitching, validation, marketing, sales, start-up funding and legal processes for early stage businesses.

She said the government recognises the immense potential of the youth of the country, the opportunities available in the innovation and the digital space and would enable them take advantage of these opportunities.

The CAS congratulated all the Hult Prize participants and encouraged them to work hard for the success of their start-ups, saying that the spirit of the Hult event is to build businesses that employ others.

Mbaka commended Hult Prize -UoN community for the commendable work they were doing to encourage and help both the graduate and the undergraduate students to showcase their start-ups on social entrepreneurship to change the world.

“Your clarion call to build a business that would employ at least 2,000 people by 2024 while creating a positive impact on the world is testament to your great efforts in ensuring that the youth of this country find meaningful employment that will positively impact our country’s future,” she added.

Principal Secretary State Department for Industrialization Amb. Peter Kaberia in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Stephen Odua, Director Private Sector Development, State Department of Industrialization said the government is currently putting in place initiatives to reduce the cost of energy.

He said it was projected that through the initiative, the economy was expected to grow by 6 per cent at the end of this year.

“We are highly encouraging consumption of locally produced products ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ as this will enable manufacture of this product to employ other people,” said Kaberia.

By Mary Ndegwa and Ondere Veronica

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