About 3,000 youth in Kisumu County have received training in Digital Literacy Skills to help them get jobs.
The youth, picked from across the seven sub-counties, were trained on the basic use of mobile phones to access economic opportunities via the Internet, capture data online and on jobs available.
The training, facilitated by Ajira Digital Programme, was offered courtesy of the county government in collaboration with Google and the national government’s Ministry of Information Communications and Telecommunications (ICT).
The beneficiaries will now get a chance to apply to join a network of youth teams at Digital Youth Hubs to be opened in every ward in the county, dubbed Barefoot Digital Youth Squad or Barefoot Digitali.
The training will make the young people (18-32 years) and living in local communities, get skills that make them employable and can access further training and jobs online.
The programme was initiated last year with the support of Google, Microsoft and the African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT), among other partners. ACWICT is a Kenyan ICT for Development organisation whose mission is to promote women’s and youths’ access to and knowledge of ICTs as tools for sustainable development.
More than 700 youths including school leavers drawn from across the 35 wards of the county had earlier been trained on digital skills.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the government had introduced the programme to enable the youths access to job opportunities available online besides offering them with skills necessary for the work place. “The broader aim is to support about a million youth find work online before the end of this year,” said Mucheru.
The CS observed that ICT has been discovered as a key driver of development where people can empower themselves economically. “The government, in partnership with MPS, plans to set up innovation hubs in all the 290 constituencies with free access of Wi-Fi services,” he added,
In Kisumu, the long-term objective of the Barefoot Digital Literacy Programme is to train up to 5,000 young people this year on basic digital literacy and basic life skills to make them more employable. The training is based on principles of self-reliance and promotion of citizen engagement with technology for good governance.
Speaking during the launch at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu town, Governor Jack Ranguma said the programme aims at shifting the mind-set of young people, especially school dropouts, to realise that they can be empowered with a wide range of digital tools to scale the ladder of economic and social advancement.
“What they did not learn in school, they can now learn online. The jobs they cannot get in their hometowns, they can find across the globe. Their basic mobile phone is the doorway to their transformation,” Ranguma added.
The training is based on principles of self-reliance and promotion of citizen engagement with technology for good governance.