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Nakuru unveils digital empowerment programme for youth

Nakuru County government has opened an opportunity for youth to venture into online freelance jobs to earn a decent living and to stop them from engaging in crimes and other vices.

The county government in partnership with Generation Digital Kenya, is offering a free digital training to youth in Shabaab social hall where it involves youth drawn from all the 11 sub counties.

The training offered covers how to undertake freelancing jobs, transcription, virtual assistance and video captioning which have the potential to open up opportunities for the beneficiaries to work in digital spaces and make decent earnings.

County Information Communication Technology Director Mr. Leonard Kirui called on Kenyan youth to embrace online jobs which he said had increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He stated that though millions of employees globally lost their livelihoods when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, opportunities for online workers improved significantly in areas of transcription, digital marketing, virtual assistance, data entry and management and online writing.

The director noted that the national government has eased access to digital opportunities in the country through the Ajira Digital Programme.

“Online work is the way to go. The opportunities in the digital work space by far surpass the number of digital workers. I urge our youth to enroll in the Ajira Digital Programme so that they can benefit and make online work as an alternative employment,” he said.

“As the world struggles with social-economic challenges brought by Covid-19 pandemic, online workers have not been affected because their workspace is safe to conduct business and deliver services. It’s high time Kenyan youth who constitute 75 per cent of the population embraced technological changes and innovations to promote remote working as alternative employment,” said Kirui.

Kirui said that the administration through the partners so far has been able to train over 1000 youth on online jobs in the ICT hubs across the county.

“We have started a freelance free training to our youth across all the regions of Nakuru County and so far, we have 1000 youth who have completed the training and are now working on their own. We are continuing with the programme because we want our youth to acquire skills that can help them financially and curb the issue of idleness among our youth,” Kirui said.

According to one of the beneficiaries Joyline Chepngeno who is a computer science student at Kabarak University, the venture is bringing in a lot of help to the needy youth especially those in tertiary levels as they are taught how to make money to cater for their needs.

“I applaud this programme and thank the county for offering us this opportunity. It is going to help especially the needy students to be able to work part-time in online platforms and get money to support their needs thus reducing the cases of crimes in our universities,” said Chepngeno.

Nakuru County has been known to be a hotspot of ethnic violence over a long time due to its cosmopolitan state. The youth have been used by the politicians to cause chaos and violence towards their favour and selfish gains. According to Kirui, making the youth busy by giving them jobs to do to earn a decent living will in turn reduce the violence.

Kirui added that Nakuru County Administration welcomes all the like-minded partners that could boost the youth by offering them employment opportunities.

Moreover, Kirui pointed out that the County administration is committed to constructing one ICT hub in each of the 11 sub counties in Nakuru as this would open a platform for job creation and help tame idleness and criminal offences in the County.

“Nakuru County Government under the governance of HE Lee Kinyanjui is committed to construct one ICT hub in each of our sub counties to help in training the youth to get a platform for jobs to earn money and make them busy especially during the electioneering period,” said Kirui.

Alphin Mukhabwa, who represented the CEO of Generation organization, commended on the partnership saying they wanted to engage the youth to improve their financial status and that their organization is ready and willing to help the youth in Nakuru County throughout all the sub counties.

“We are more than willing as an organization to work with the youth in Nakuru County in training them to acquire skills they can use to earn a living. We will be working with the youth across all the 11 sub counties for the benefit of Nakuru people,” said Mukhabwa.

Official statistics indicate that in Kenya, between 2019 and 2021, unemployment rate among youth aged 20-24 years old rose with a margin of 16.3% which is an alarming percentage.

By Charloth Chepkemoi

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