A digital rights lobby group has partnered with Community Based Organisations in Nairobi and Tana River counties to equip young people with digital financial Skills.
The lobby group Paradigm Initiative-PIN said under the acronym of ‘LIFE’ which stands for life skills, ICTs, financial readiness and entrepreneurship, the program targets young individuals from less privileged backgrounds in under-served communities who do not have the financial capacity.
This, the lobby said will play a key role in helping the young people acquire relevant education and skills that can enable them to compete economically in the digital age.
In Tana River, the program is being run by Amani Centre Community-Based Organisation (CBO), while in Nairobi, it is being implemented by Gonline Africa both who are partners with the lobby groupo.
The LIFE Legacy Program entails partnerships with community-based organisations and initiatives to replicate it in as many communities as possible across the continent.
Speaking during the launch of the Initiative at the Amani Centre the organisation’s Senior Manager, Grants and Programs Strategy, Mr Adeboye Adegoke said the approach provides a sustainable, low-cost model that allows cost-sharing with like-minded organisations working towards closing the digital gap that exists among young people.
Adegoke said focusing on digitally excluded individuals who lack skills, confidence and opportunities, the 10-week program prioritises those with limited or no access to equipment and connectivity.
“The Program started in 2007 in a small cybercafé named Stadnet, nestled in the heart of Ajegunle in Lagos, Nigeria, with the aim of equipping young people with relevant digital skills and connecting them to opportunities in the digital economy. To date, the organisation has impacted the lives of more than 6,700 young individuals between the ages of 14 and 24 years,” he said.
Adegoke said the lobby remains commited to the vision to have young people, no matter where they are born not being disadvantaged in the digital economy.
On his part, Mr John Kipsiwa, the Deputy County Commissioner, said the government is keen on supporting the youth and spurring the digital economy by establishing digital hubs.
Kipiswa’s sentiment were echoed by John Green, the Co-Founder of Amani Centre CBO who said the program was timely as Tana River is one of the counties that has lagged behind in digital proficiency, and there exists a huge gap that requires to be closed.
Madam Wachu Telita, Assistant Director of Education, Tana Delta, noted that digital literacy is important as it increases awareness of privacy online, cybercrimes and fake news.
“The beneficiaries of this program will be able to also contribute to the economic growth of the society,” she said.
During the launch of the program in Nairobi, Ms Miriam Beatrice, the organisation’s Program Officer, in East Africa, urged the youth to make the best out of the opportunity, adding that it was a building block to their career trajectory.
She said time is ripe for the initiative, more so in informal settlements as there are numerous young individuals who require skills provided under the LIFE Legacy Program.