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Human resource empowerment key to national development

The Government and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that the country has the best trained and competent digital workforce, by ensuring that only accredited courses are being offered.

Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Maureen Mbaka, said that digital skills will enable every Kenyan to have access to digital technology, the literacy and know-how to use this technology and being able to participate in the creation of this technology.

Speaking at a Nairobi hotel Monday, during the award of the Certificate of Accreditation to the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), Mbaka said that as government, there has been a worry over time where foreign Qualification Awarding Institutions, have been unregulated and their qualifications not well understood in the qualifications landscape in Kenya.

“I am happy to note that with the implementation of the Kenya National Qualifications Framework (KNQF), this would be a thing of the past,” said Mbaka, adding that this accreditation will enhance the contribution of ICDL Africa in the education of the workforce in Kenya, more so in the digital space.

The CAS said that the KNQA accreditation of the ICDL Certification and Mapping on the Kenya National Qualifications Framework, is a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to providing quality education and training to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies of the youth and general workforce.

“I want to assure you that the government is a strong proponent for Information and Communication Technology, innovations and a smart society. I encourage the institutions and graduates of ICT to actively take advantage of the many opportunities in the sector to participate in developing a robust ICT innovation. This is because the future of the world will be driven by ICT,” said Mbaka.

She highlighted that the government has developed the digital economy blueprint, which recognizes five fundamental pillars as catalysts for a robust digital economy including digital government; digital Business; infrastructure; innovation driven entrepreneurship and digital skills and values.

“The digital skills pillar recognizes digital skills as a prerequisite for benefiting from any technology, across all sectors of the economy and at all levels of the skills spectrum,” said Mbaka.

The CAS said towards development of a digitally skilled workforce, the government has in place the digital Literacy Program aimed at imparting digital skills to young minds from an early age, which has seen the distribution of over one million digital devices in over 22,000 public schools and the training of over 300,000 teachers.

“The Ministry through the ICT Authority has also piloted the SchoolNet Project targeting 9,600 students and 200 teachers in 13 schools across the country. SchoolNet initiative is part of the government’s efforts for sustainable solutions for school connectivity to spur learning and utilization of the digital devices,” she said.

The CAS added that already over 1,500 schools have been earmarked under Phase 1 of the Schoolnet connectivity project being implemented by a partnership of Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, the ICT Authority, UNESCO and HUAWEI.

ICDL Africa General Manager Solange Umulisa, noted that the society is now living in a time where crime has gone online and cybercrime is so huge and that there is need to equip people with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against these threats.

Umulisa said that the world is now being driven by technology and our ability to absorb the changes depends on how digitally literate we are.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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