The 2nd Vusha Youth Empowerment Program graduation ceremony took place on 27th April 2016, at the County Government of Kiambu headquarters in Kiambu town. The ceremony was graced by H. E William Kabogo, the Governor of the County Government of Kiambu. A total of 466 graduates received certification on CISCO Information Technology Essentials and a certificate of participation in the program.
Amongst the beneficiaries graduating 378 graduates are already placed into digital and non-digital jobs, 42 have set up business enterprises, 20 of which are I.C.T enabled while 11 engaging in online work. To date Vusha YEP has trained 650 young people while impacting on 6500 others in Kiambu County have been trained.
During the ceremony the beneficiaries of the program showcased some of the best websites and mobile apps that not only provide solutions to the challenges faced by the residents of Kiambu County but also the global sphere. Amongst them was ‘Showbiz’ website that illuminated small enterprise businesses in the county. Through creating awareness of these enterprises, the website developers’ aim at attracting investors to the county, encouraging other youth to venture into similar businesses and also highlight entrepreneurship skills critical for the success of a business. On the other hand, a mobile App dubbed ‘Badilisha’ that aimed at breaking the monotony of mobile sim cards and also provide low tariff rates on both local and international calls was also showcased.
The displays clearly illustrated the technical ICT skills and knowledge the beneficiaries had gained through the program. In the spirit of promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth, Ms. Mwihaki, a senior associate Director of The Rockefeller Foundation, encouraged the beneficiaries to perceive every problem in their society as an opportunity to start a business, remembering the fundamental values of humility and integrity.
Ms. Constantine Obuya, The Executive Director of ACWICT said, “Youth unemployment is not just about limited employment opportunities but also about lack of employable skills and productive employment or income generating opportunities. To address this challenge, provisions of education, and productive employment or income generating opportunities are some the surest ways to improving our youth economic and social standing.”
“The program therefore equips the young people participating with technical digital skills (ITE, Online Work and Coding), Life skills for day to day life and for the workplace, healthcare planning, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills to improve their employability prospects and income generating capacity,” she added
The Governor, applauded the beneficiaries and emphasized on the need to support the graduates so that they use their skills in productive work.
“It is important to employ people who are I.C.T compliant, and therefore the beneficiaries of Vusha YEP should receive priority when it comes to I.C.T contracts and tenders in the county.” said Governor William Kabogo.
The governor further said county is working on ensuring every polytechnic in Kiambu County is upgraded, so that each one has a course in Information and Communication Technology. He also urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the Biashara Fund to acquire start capital for their ICT enabled enterprises.
The Vusha YEP is a demand-driven workforce development program funded by The Rockefeller Foundation under its Digital Jobs Africa Initiative and the Microsoft Corporation with the aim of improving the employability prospects and income generating capacities of youth people in Kenya. Amongst the beneficiaries graduating 378 graduates are already placed into digital and non-digital jobs, 42 have set up business enterprises, 20 of which are I.C.T enabled while 11 engaging in online work. To date 650 young people from Kiambu County have been trained.