The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for ICT, Joe Mucheru has urged youths to take advantage of Smart Africa, a single digital market for Africa to get online jobs.
Speaking at a Youth Mentorship Forum at Africa International University (AIU) in Nairobi on Friday, the CS said Smart Africa currently has 24 countries on one digital platform translating into a market reachability of 600 million people.
“As we expand in smart Africa, governments have removed for instance roaming charges on mobile phones,” he said.
Mucheru noted that the initiative would increase free trade area where more people on the continent would move without visa restrictions.
He stated that once the entire Africa continent achieves a single digital market, a big market opportunity would be created which Kenyans must prepare to take advantage of.
“It took China about 35 years to industrialize but it can take Kenya seven or 10 years with technology,” said the CS.
He revealed that the government through Ajira is providing youths with digital skills and better understanding of technology so that they could go beyond doing online transcription jobs and become innovators on the digital platform.
“They should see the challenges on the single digital market and be innovators to create platforms on digital market,” he said
Mucheru noted that Ajira is just the beginning, and it would undergo many evolutions. He revealed that President Uhuru Kenyatta is very passionate about the programme and the government has provided resources to make it translate into meaningful results.
While appreciating that those who have joined Ajira were already engaging others in online jobs and earning profits, he said this indicated ownership which the government purposed to create.
He expressed optimism that with the film department back under the Ministry of ICT, many job opportunities for the youth in the country would be created.
Mrs. Zilpher Owiti of ICT Authority said about 1.4 million Kenyans were looking for jobs and Ajira has provided the link.
She said universities were the best entry points for Ajira programme and already, nine lecturers at Africa International University had been trained as trainers of trainers while 35 students who joined the Ajira club were already earning through online jobs.
The AIU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dankit Nassiuma advised the youth to always seek advice and respect mentors in order to move from one level to another.
Mucheru formally launched AIU’s Ajira Mentorship Centre that was expected to enhance reachability to more youths
By Habel Shiloli