Over 300 cohorts of the third phase of the Presidential Digitalent Programme on Tuesday graduated, full of hope that they will be able to be absorbed in both the Public and the Private sector.
Already, more than 50 cohorts in the third phase have received placement in various institutions where they did their internship programmes with a good number getting scholarships to further their education.
President Uhuru Kenyatta conceived the Presidential digital talent Programme as the vehicle that will build capacity within government to ensure effective service delivery, create the next generation of globally competitive ICT, leadership and technology talent that will transform Kenya.
The programme offers participants an opportunity to understand government services, and provides them with a chance to contribute towards improving service delivery to Kenyan citizens.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete, Ministry of ICT Principal
Secretary (PS), Jerome Ochieng noted that the Digitalent programme is open to partners with local companies, multi nationals and public sector players to create skill placement for the youth.
Jerome stated that as a government, his ministry will ensure that the cohorts who are yet to be placed get absorbed in the government as digital personnel in programmes such as the upcoming census and the ongoing Huduma Namba.
Jerome acknowledged that a number of projects in the programme have been specifically developed through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in recognition of the power of collaboration especially in the private sector as well as the academia.
“One of our main focus areas has been on skill development in order to bridge the gap between the needs of the industry and the available talent in the market,” said Jerome who further urged the graduands to put into practice what they have learned during the training and mentorship to enable them achieve their goals.
The ICT Authority Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Katherine Getao said that the programme gives interns an opportunity to gain hands-on skills and thus increase their chances of employability.
Getao urged the academia to deepen their collaboration with Digitalent in a bid to ensure that the preparation for these hands on skills to the graduates start at university level, adding that by doing so, no youth will be left behind.
She called for more representation of learners from marginalized areas, women and persons living with disability in future intakes.
The programme has trained over 1200 ICT graduates so far, with Getao stating that the next intake of the cohorts will be in July.
The internship is offered to Kenyans who are recent graduates with ICT, Engineering, Communication, Law, Medicine, Built Environment, Agriculture and Education degree who must have attained a first class or upper second class honors between Jan 2017 to date.
Present at the function was ICT Authority Chairman, Njoroge Nani Mungai, as well as Partnership and Innovations Director, Eunice M. Kariuki.
By Alice Gworo