The government has initiated Ajira Digital Progamme to enable the youth seeking employment earn decent income through online work.
The Information, Communication and Technology Principal Secretary (PS), Jerome Ochieng said through the Ajira program, over 1 million youth will be able to earn above minimum wage from the digital platform annually.
Ochieng said the explosion of the internet has created an opportunity for companies and startups to create new products and services, thereby creating job opportunities for diverse groups through outsourced work.
The PS said, “We will make deliberate efforts to raise the profile of online work and promote Kenya as a capital of global freelance hub,” adding that the program aims at introducing young people to on-line work and providing them with necessary tools, training and mentorship.
Speaking on Monday during the official opening of the five-day Public Service Commission Ajira Digital Interns Induction program workshop at the University of Nairobi, Ochieng said the government has established a broad range of inventions to deal with the growing rate of unemployment with specific attention to the youth.
The 250 interns who will be posted to the County Information Offices countrywide, are expected to help in facilitating the success of Ajira Digital program by providing technical support services across the country.
The PS said to date the ministry has provided skills, trained and mentored over 10,000 people on online work, besides conducting online work campaigns and setting up infrastructure.
“To encourage the uptake and application of technology and support the Ajira Digital programme, the government has set up over 150 Constituency Innovation Hubs across the country and provided broadband connectivity and digital devices,” he said, adding that the centers will facilitate access to online job opportunities.
“We plan to have four constituency innovation hubs in every constituency by the end of the programme and this will increase the number to 1,160 innovation hubs countrywide,” he added.
The PS told the interns to exercise high standards of professionalism, accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency, while discharging their duties, saying a positive attitude towards work will enable them contribute to the country’s socio-economic and political aspirations.
At the same time, Ochieng noted that Kenya has embarked on its transformative journey towards the digital economy, which has facilitated the growth of various digital application and services in the public and private sectors such banking, health, housing, transportation and agribusiness.
“Your entering the service at this moment will make you part of the team spearheading the implantation of some our digital solutions and strategies,” he told the interns.
The PS said the Digital Economy Blue Print launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta focuses on the achievement of the country’s Vision 2030 and the President’s Big Four Agenda, while urging the youth that the government counts on their innovation support as digital warriors to realize some of its programs.
He said according to the Kenya National Economic survey report of 2019, the value of ICT sector expanded by 12.9 percent from Sh.345.6 billion in 2017 to Sh.390.2 billion in 2018, which he attributed to growth in the digital economy.
In his remarks, the government Spokesperson, Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna told the youth to be good ambassadors wherever they will be posted and work hard to show that they merit the positions they have been given.
The ICT Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Katherine Getao said the ICT ministry has various programs to build the capacity of the youth and will continue imparting technology skills to the young people to enable them compete effectively in the ever competitive job market.
Others present at the event were the ICT Chief Administrative Secretary, Maureen Mbaka, the Chief Administrative Secretary, Innovation and Youth, Nadia Abdalla, the Deputy Vice Chancellor University of Nairobi, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o and partners from Huawei and Master Card Foundation among others.
By Bernadette Khaduli