Youth benefiting from the Ajira digital programme will not be required to pay Sh.10, 000 as registration fee as reported in a section of the media.
The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology has however, clarified only those who have contracted online work will be required to pay the money to cater for Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax compliance.
The ICT Principal Secretary (PS), Jerome Ochieng said on Friday in Kisumu the money is not meant for registration as widely reported in the media.
The PS however, maintained that only those who will earn money from online jobs will be required to pay, while those who will not be able to make money from the digital platform will not be compelled to pay, he said.
“This money is not meant for registration but would be channeled into an Ajira seed fund to benefit other Ajira youth and innovators,” he said.
Jerome, who made the remarks while closing a four-week Ajira digital basic skills training, held at the University of Nairobi’s, Kisumu Campus, also announced that the ICT Ministry will enhance the Ajira programme to include mentorship.
Yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, Henry Rotich, while delivering the 2019/2020 budget statement in Parliament announced that youth will have to pay 10,000 shillings from January 2020 as an alternative for their income tax.
The Ajira Digital Programme is a government initiative driven by the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities.
The PS said in the recent drive, over 2500 youth have been in Kisumu campus, University of Nairobi main campus,Technical University Mombasa, Kenyatta University, Nakuru campus and Tom Mboya University College in Homa Bay.
“We have created awareness through training in 31 universities and this year alone we have trained over 15,000 youth, with over 600,000 youth working on digitally enabled jobs,” he added.
“In an effort to drive the digital economy, we are encouraging a number of innovators and entrepreneurs to develop innovations that can be marketed locally and regionally,” he added.
Ochieng announced that his ministry, in collaboration with that of Education was reviewing the ICT curriculum to incorporate digital concepts so that students are equipped with practical ICT basic skills to address gaps in the market.
“We urge Universities and Technical and Educational Technical institutions to institutionalize the Ajira programme as part of the curriculum and adopt Ajira Digital clubs to ensure youth are engaged in productive innovations” he added.
Ochieng said the Government has set up 135 innovation hubs and the 63 libraries and challenged youth to visit them to get online work given the high rate of unemployment amongst youth.
The Ajira programme seeks to position Kenya as a choice labour destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and the public sector to create digital work.
By George Kaiga