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Digital Innovation Hubs Open their Doors For Youth in Rongo

Kenya’s dream to deal with the unemployment problem among the youth came glaring recently when the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology supported Rongo Constituency in unveiling one of the most important cogs in creating Jobs for the youths in the country.
Championing this effort was ICT Principal Secretary (PS) Jerome Ochieng’ who chaperoned the Constituency leadership during the launch of four creative and innovation ICT hubs in different locations within the area.
It was cheers and ululation from members of the public as the hubs’ door were officially opened for the many youths in the region now lusting for white-collar jobs to earn a living.
According to the PS, the National government has been keen to implement projects and programmes that are key to bringing to fruition President Kenyatta’s Big 4 agenda which entails Universal Health Care, Housing, Manufacturing and Food Security.
Of all the components that stand tall in boosting the manufacturing sector, which is a major source of employment worldwide, is the ICT cog that the state is currently embracing at all cost through initiating digital innovation hubs to allow the youths get online jobs from the comforts of their rooms.
Addressing enthusiastic Rongo residents at Nyarach ICT innovation hubs in Migori County, Mr. Ochieng’ who was flanked by Mrs. Ida Odinga, wife of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, asked parents to help inculcate in their children the sense of loving online works instead of being obsessed with employment in urban set ups.
“The state has invested heavily in crafting an ICT programme – the Ajira digital program – to help young people train and earn their livings through doing online jobs,” he told the crowd and urged Kenyans to embrace the effort.
He said the programme provides an opportunity for the young people and other Kenyans to be self-employed away from the hustles of endless tarmacking in towns.
However, the success of this effort will only depend on how fast, efficient and effective the country will move to establish working ICT innovation hubs in all regions that will see young Kenyans train and get skills to engage in serious online works.
The Ajira Digital Programme is a government initiative driven by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology to empower young people to access digital job opportunities.
The program seeks to position Kenya as a choice labour destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and public sector to create digital work. “The government digitization projects have already created lots of viable micro-work that can be completed by digital workers,” explained the PS.
According to the Ministry of ICT, access to digital work will build and grow the middle class across the country. A larger middle class means more opportunities for business and direct growth of GDP.
The main objectives, according to PS Ochieng’ are to raise the profile of digital work, promote a mentorship and collaborative learning approach to finding digital work, provide Kenyans with access to digital work, and finally promote Kenya as a destination for online workers.
In this regard, it was a big plus for Rongo Constituency and, particularly the area MP Paul Abuor, to have put up the innovation hubs at a time that many young people are wasting their energies looking for jobs that have proved hard to come by.
The region is now sure of assisting the local youth get skills, work and earn an income through doing online jobs, so long as they have a laptop/computer and a reliable inter-net facility.
Rongo now boasts a status of being the first of the 290 constituencies to run four creative and innovation ICT hubs in Migori and Kenya in general.
Each Constituency was allocated Sh40 million under the NG-Constituency Development Fund to construct innovation hubs but only Rongo and Awendo Constituencies in Migori County have implemented the requirement, with the latter going beyond to construct four.
Area MP. Abuor says it was important for him to put up the four facilities in a bid to solve the problem about the ever-rising unemployment among the local youth.
“We have strategically placed the innovation hubs in our constituency to enroll students from Rongo University and other youths already out of school looking for jobs in this area,” explained the legislator during the launch of the facilities.
With the help of Telecom Kenya and the ICT ministry, the constituency leadership was able to craft an infrastructure that has seen students trained and get skills in doing online jobs and earn their incomes for a better living.
Mrs. Odinga who was the chief guest during the Launch of the facilities at Cham giwadu, Opapo and Kobado markets and, at Nyarach in the suburbs of Rongo town, urged the youth to embrace the ICT hubs by going for computer trainings and learning how to get jobs online instead of loitering in towns.
“The lust for handouts from politicians will not improve your lives at all but you should all strive to enroll in these facilities to gain knowledge of doing digital researches and knowing how to get jobs online,” Ida said.
The hubs are also the only remaining lifeline for the many young girls dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, a problem that has become a big concern to the local parents and education officers in the region.
“Such girls will only reclaim their hope of living a better life through enrolling in these facilities, getting trained and later engaging in online jobs errands to earn good income,” she stressed.
Mr. Michele Hayanga Odiwuor, a student at Kisii University and an instructor at the Cham giwadu innovation hub, confesses being a beneficiary of doing online jobs while continuing with his education at the institution.
“Online jobs are true income earning opportunities that all must embrace. Get yourself hooked to your computer, google any uploaded job of your choice, piece it up and earn your money fairly from the assigning organization or an individual,” said the 21 year-old information technology student with a broad smile in his face.
Hayanga says the digital innovation hubs, which are one-stop-shops, will help the youth become more competitive in the job markets that are currently available within companies, organisations and provided by individual people.
“I’ve been engaged in writing and editing speeches for companies, doing online graphic works for individual people, doing researches for clients, all at good fees,” he says.
Currently, he offers part-time work as an instructor of 13 learners at the centre, an engagement that has augmented his income to allow him pay his school fees and take care of his parents and siblings back at home.
“You only need a computer/laptop and an internet that is reliable to set yourself pretty good to roll out your business for a good living,” stressed Hayanga during the official launch of the facility recently.
By George Agimba

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