Ajira digital programme business engagement forum has commenced in Makueni County to encourage small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and the youth to adopt digital tools to improve business practices and access online work.
The county-focused intervention, which is being piloted in the two counties of Makueni and Machakos, aims at digitising SME’s by facilitating the youth’s access to online employment.
Speaking during the event, KEPSA Project Director-Ajira Digital Programme, Dr. Ehud Gachugu, stated that the aim of the programme is to stimulate digital work in the economy by working with businesses, the public sector and companies globally to unlock the potential of digital transformation for forex direct investment and job creation.
“We no longer compete locally; even when operating in Makueni, your market is now 1.2 billion people in Africa and 500 million in East Africa, which can only be made possible if we appropriately use technology,” said Gachugu while addressing the county digitization forum in a hotel in Wote town Wednesday.
The director further added that KEPSA is working alongside partners like Microsoft to prepare SME’s for the digital transformation wave happening globally.
Makueni Deputy Governor (DG) Lucy Mulili also urged the youth to leverage digital work opportunities to counter massive unemployment.
She called on SME’s to take advantage of digital transformation by adopting digital applications suitable for their business.
Mulili further disclosed that the county government, through the department of ICT, has enhanced service delivery to the people through technology, citing My County App, which has led improved revenue collection.
“Last year, we managed to increase our own source revenue by Sh140 million after embarking on use of technology, which curbed revenue leaks as well as eliminating long journeys to the county headquarters to pay for crucial government services,” she added.
Consequently, the deputy governor emphasised the need for everyone to be involved in the digital transformation, noting that no one should be left behind in the process that is geared towards impacting lives of people positively, especially the youth.
“Therefore, digitization—adoption of digital services for either government, individuals or businesses—is the way to go,” reiterated Mulili.
On her part, the area Assistant County Commissioner (ACC), Nancy Kimutai, who represented the County Commissioner, Kaburu Kaimba, urged the youth to take advantage of the digital transformation and create their own employment, rather than waiting for the ever-limited government jobs.
“Don’t wait for the government; create your own work by embracing digital platforms,” said Kimutai.
During the panel discussion, the County Executive for Education and ICT, Elizabeth Muli, affirmed that the devolved unit had embraced digital transformation by offering online services, saying that already they had 17 centres offering digital skills.
By Patrick Nyakundi