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Don’t Be Left Behind In The Digital Takeoff -Owalo Challenges Youth

Information Communication and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo has challenged the youth to take advantage of the digital space provided by the government to end joblessness.

Owalo said the government has provided several platforms including the Jitume digital labs, the constituency innovation centres and the massive internet connectivity across the country to help the youth acquire ICT skills to earn a living.

Speaking after launching Jitume Digital Lab at Thika Technical and Training Institute in Kiambu County Thursday, Owalo said 17 functional Jitume Labs have already been established and connected countrywide adding that their target is to equip one million learners with market ready business and ICT related courses for free.

He said they will also link the youth to global technological companies for digital jobs.

“These Jitume labs will train youth on digital skills capacity-building programmes. They have been designed to equip TIVETS countrywide with 23,000 virtual desktops. Through this programme, we expect to equip one million learners with market-ready business and ICT related courses for free,” Owalo said.

Other ICT related platforms provided by the government to enable the youth gain digital skills are the Ajira Digital programme where the CS said that they had already trained 73,000 youth by December last year.

He added that they are at an advanced stage of operationalizing the Kenya Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST), a specialist SMART University, to provide Masters and Doctorate level training in the Faculties of Mechanical, Electrical, and ICT Engineering.

He at the same time said they are working on establishing digital village smart hubs and studios in each of the country’s 1,450 electoral wards.

The hubs, he said, are designed to support learning, innovation and entrepreneurship, by offering free working spaces and WIFI, for online jobs by the youth across the country.

He added that they have also put in place a 12 months internship package for digital skills development, job coaching, mentoring and training to enrich the youth with ICT skills.

“Through these efforts, we expect our highly skilled ICT professionals to attract foreign investors to establish tech industries locally, including in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). This should create jobs, and contribute to the country’s foreign exchange,” he said.

By Muoki Charles

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