The Government and the Kenya Scouts Association (KSA) have partnered to enable 1,000 Rover Scouts to understand how to earn from digital and digitally-enabled jobs through the Ajira Digital program.
Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru, said that Ajira Digital platform is a youth empowerment program, championed by his Ministry in partnership with the private and donor sector, to provide free interventions to enable the youth to productively benefit from the use of the cyber space.
Mucheru said that the program delivers work-readiness training, mentorship, and linkages to jobs as well as stimulating job creation.
Speaking, Friday, during the unveiling of the 1st Africa Rover Moot brand, Mucheru noted that the youth form close to 75 per cent of the country’s population and many of them are members of the scout movement.
The CS said the task by the government has been to ensure, among other things, the youth are equipped, empowered, involved and protected with the aim of making them self-reliant and creators of jobs, not just consumers of jobs.
“To further grow our partnership, the Government, through my Ministry, is working towards establishing a Youth Empowerment Center at the Rowallan Scout Camp. This is just one of the examples of support that the government is giving to the Scouts and the Girl Guides, the latter, who will also receive another Center at their own campsite,” said the CS.
Mucheru said that Kenya has been honored to be the first country in Africa to host the major continental scouting event to be held in April 2023 and promised full government support in organizing and setting up the standards.
“I have been informed that Kenya was voted for, overwhelmingly by 21 out of the 30 African countries south of the Sahara, to host the 1st Africa Rover Moot, that will have more than 2,500 participants aged 18 – 26 from Africa and other parts of the world for 10 days,” said Mucheru.
“This is a great honor to Kenya and we must all ensure that we give all the participants an experience of their lifetime; This should not be difficult for us, considering that the Kenya scouts association is the largest scout organization in Africa and 6th largest globally with over 2.1 million young people who are members,” he said.
Mucheru further said that as a Ministry, the goal remains to facilitate universal access to reliable and affordable ICT infrastructure all over the country as an enabler of socio-economic growth as was envisioned in the country’s economic development blueprint, the Vision 2030.
“Further, our Digital Economy Blueprint promotes the development of digital skills, as a key pillar in achieving Kenya’s vision of becoming a knowledge-based economy, with ICT as a key enabler,” said the CS.
He added that Youth Participation and inclusion is promoted through the National Youth Council and Youth in the Informal Settlement Programme (KIKAOs).
“We aim to mainstream youth in national development. In this case, the State Department ensures the youth are engaged in decision-making, planning, budgeting, and implementing of programs in all sectors. The input of the youth is critical in the designing of programmes and projects that impact them, whether directly or indirectly,” said Mucheru.
He added that the Kenya Youth Development Policy, 2019, underscores government’s commitment to empower the youth and harness their potential for realization of sustainable development.
Kenya Scouts Association (KSA) Chief Commissioner, Victor Radido, said that Africa is rising and the youth remain its greatest asset and the most ostensive springboard to the next unexplored world frontiers
“The African story is a promising one and we are certain that the Rover Scouts will be the new lenses that the world will use to look at Africa and its youthful population,” said Radido, adding that as a special purpose vehicle the scout movement empowers and prepares the youth to be responsible citizens.
He highlighted that the Kenya Scouts Association was established by an act of parliament Cap 209 of the laws of Kenya and it is the largest organization in Kenya and Africa at large catering for young people between the ages of 6-26 years with membership of 2.1 million scouts and 40, 000 leaders.
“The Rover program provides the young people a myriad of activities to learn and become better citizens and gradually evolve through the leadership academy where the youth develop their leadership skills and effectively integrate into the job market,” said Radido.
He added that in 2010 KSA pioneered in Africa by hosting the 13th World Scouts Moot of its kind, the first to be held in Africa and was attended by 1, 675 scouts from 68 countries around the world.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a