At least 200 Machakos youth have been trained on digital skills during a two-day workshop held at the Catholic Technical Training Institute (CTTI) in Kathome, Machakos.
The two day workshop that was organized by South-South Dialogues, a Nairobi-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) was aimed at empowering Technical and Vocational Education and Training Centres graduands with wide ranging practical and digital Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
Speaking Friday during the official opening ceremony , the NGO’s Executive Director, Stephene Ndegwa said that some of the topics covered during the training included e-commerce, innovation, cyber security and digital integrity, and creating an online presence.
“Developing countries should explore broader cooperation among themselves in new business platforms such as digital economy, smart city and 5G transmissions,” said Ndwegwa.
“Major countries like China are supporting African countries in applying digital technologies in transportation, medical care, finance and other livelihood areas, building smart cities and leveraging digital technologies to strengthen state governance and control Covid-19,” added Ndwegwa.
He noted that E-commerce platforms and new forms of digital paid employment such as cloud working will increase incomes and financial independence for the youth and the society at large.
Ndegwa noted that we live in the digital era which is a huge advantage hence digital literacy and skills are essential and should no longer be ignored.
“These skills should be constantly developed hand-in-hand with the digital infrastructure. This is the only way that investment in technology will prove to be efficient and profitable,” He added.
Kathome CTTI Principal Stephen Gitau noted that the workshop had come at a critical time when unemployment was rising in the country and the world due to increasing economic challenges caused by several factors.
“The unprecedented advances of new-generation digital technologies have transformed the means of social production, created new possibilities in our life, and opened up new areas of state governance,” noted Gitau,
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the digital economy bucked the trend and provided an important driver for global recovery” added Gitau.
“Major countries like China are supporting African countries in applying digital technologies in transportation, medical care, finance and other livelihood areas, building “smart cities” and leveraging digital technologies to strengthen state governance and control Covid-19,” he noted.
The participants lauded the workshop saying that they are now more equipped with knowledge and skills where they promised to apply the information both in their personal and career lives.
The training, which was well represented by both genders in line with the need to include targets at providing over 5000 high potential but disadvantaged youth in Kenya’s 47 counties with digital soft skills training relevant for digital jobs and other opportunities.
The workshop is being implemented with the kind assistance of a Chinese donor as part of the country’s people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
China has promised to support Africa in raising the level of digitization in the public and corporate sectors and promote industrialization by applying new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and mobile payment.
The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs is currently undertaking several projects aimed at incorporating digital concepts in the daily lives of Kenyans through growing digital literacy and growing businesses.
Through its Ajira Digital Programme, the government 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.
Digitization projects already create lots of viable micro work that can be completed by digital workers hence the county has welcomed other players to fill in the demand by empowering the youth with digital skills.
By Rachael Kilonzo