Over 5,000 youth in Trans Nzoia County will be trained under the Ajira Digital program meant to empower them to access online jobs.
The training which is ongoing at the Kitale National Polytechnic in Kitale town is meant to equip the youth with technical skills in article writing, transcription, translation among others.
An instructor at Kitale National Polytechnic, Shadrack Ekui who is facilitating the program said that part of the training involves linking the youths with opportunities that exist online.
“We expect that after the training, the trainees are going to explore the ample opportunities available online. We are going to link them to platforms that offer those jobs which we are training them on,” he disclosed.
The Ajira Digital Program is being done by the Kenyan government through the Department of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in the Ministry of Information.
After training, trainees will be expected to access online job opportunities using their mobile phones, laptops or computers to work online in order to earn money.
To support the initiative, the County government has identified several centres for developing ICT hubs where the internet will be installed to provide a platform for youth to access online jobs.
The County ICT Officer, Julius Sifuna said the Ajira Digital program will help in reducing poverty among the target group.
“It is a program that benefits our youth especially in our Vocational Training Centers to be able to take advantage of online jobs so that we can reduce the unemployment rate among the youths,” he disclosed.
Sifuna said the county government has identified centres in Sub Counties for the establishment of innovation hubs, where the internet will be installed so that they can be used by residents in accessing the digital world.
“We have identified a vocational training centre in each Sub County, the offices of sub-county administrators and the county youth hub which has infrastructure that enables youth access internet,” he pointed out.
Under the Ajira Digital Program, Members of Parliament (MPs) will be expected to support the initiative by setting aside Sh.4 million each, through the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) for establishing Constituency Innovation Hubs (CIH).
According to ICT Authority, the CIH would provide hotspots which will enable youth and the residents to access the internet to use in their devices to access online jobs and other opportunities.
Meanwhile, in Trans Nzoia County, majority of Members of Parliament are yet to set aside the funds for the establishment of the Innovation Hubs.
However, speaking to KNA on phone, Cherangany MP, Joshua Kuttuny said the NG-CDF Committee has set aside Sh.2 million for this financial year for establishing the CIH and would set aside a similar amount in the next financial year to complete the hubs.
“We would have wished to allocate the full amount at ago but we have more pressing challenges like school infrastructure that need more focus,” he noted.
Kiminini, Saboti, Endebess and Kwanza constituencies have not yet begun the process, even as ICT Authority urged MPs to fast track the process to provide a platform, where youth can access the internet to work online and earn a living.
Establishment of the Constituency Innovation Hubs were to be pegged the government’s National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) project meant to connect all the 47 counties to ease communication and improve government service delivery to the citizens.
In Trans Nzoia County, NOFBI which provides high-speed internet with strong bandwidth has been connected to the county government and the County Commissioner offices where termination is done to all the five Sub Counties.
A survey has already been done in the five sub Counties and government offices to link to the fibre network.
According to ICT Authority, 25 Kilometres of the network of NOFBI will be connected in Trans Nzoia County.
By Pauline Ikanda