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Empowerment centre for youth, women launched

Makueni Governor Mr. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr has launched Ajiry Centre at the Green Park in Wote town that will see local youth and women acquire digital skills and become self-reliant.

The centre will also offer the beneficiaries training and mentorship opportunities, so as to make them competitive in the job market and participate in a digital economy.

“The digital economy is the future, and we must prepare our youth and women to take advantage of the opportunities that come with it. With the Ajiry job Centre, we are not only creating jobs, but also building a workforce that is equipped with skills necessary to thrive in the digital economy,” said Kilonzo when he officially launched the centre.

The centre will also provide opportunities for entrepreneurship, thus creating a platform for young people and women to start their own businesses and create jobs for others. “This will not only create wealth, but also drive the economic growth in our community,” he said.

However, the governor was quick to note that the success of the Ajiry Centre will largely depended on the mutual collaboration among the key actors including the county government, civil society groups and the private sector.

“We must work together to ensure that our youth and women have access to the relevant resources they need to succeed,” said Kilonzo.

The programme is an initiative by the Makueni County Government through the Department of ICT, Education and Internship and Tribus-TSG through Ajiry, a subsidiary of Centum Investment Company and MasterCard Foundation.

During the event, the participants who comprised of youths drawn from the Makueni’s nine sub counties were informed that the partnership will go on up to 2030, with funding from the MasterCard.

The centre is equipped with computers and modern recording studio equipment worth over Sh2 million, where the youth and women will be trained on digital skills. Talented youths will be accorded the opportunity to record and distribute their music, as well as crafts free of charge.

Additionally, mentorship will be offered at the centre, besides creating a platform for advertising space for businesses, thus opening up job opportunities.The centre will equally train the youth in cybercrime, digital literacy and entrepreneurship, with a variety of trainers being offered at the facility.

Speaking at the same event, the Ajiry Lead Developer Mr. Brian Mwau said that the initiative will promote the youth and women empowerment, foster innovation and creativity, while creating opportunities for them in the county.

Mwau lauded MasterCard Foundation through Young Africa Works Initiative (YAW) for their support and partnership with the Ajiry project aimed at promoting the welfare of the youth and women.

“The Foundation’s commitment to empowering young people and promoting economic growth aligns perfectly with the mission and vision of Ajiry,” observed Mwau.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Managing Director (MD) Tribus-TSG Centum Investment PLC Mr. James Nicholl challenged the youth to take advantage of the Ajiry centre as an opportunity to grow and connect.

Nicholl who is also the MD Ajiry, said the youth should be ready to sell themselves, their products and materials by using the centre to access both the international and local markets, besides exploring other opportunities.

On her part, the county Executive for ICT, Education and Internship Ms. Elizabeth Muli said the youth and women will gain meaningful skills at the centre to make them productive members of the society.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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