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CS Mucheru roots for online jobs to plug unemployment gap

By Allan Kisia | May 24th 2017

NYERI, KENYA: The government has intensified its efforts to bring the 40 per cent of unemployed youth onto its Ajira Digital Platform in a bid to create a million job opportunities.

Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on Wednesday spent the afternoon at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri to sell the online jobs platform to the university students.

Launched late last year, Ajira Digital's objective is to directly support a million youth across the country to find and complete work online by end of this year.

The platform provides the tools, training and mentorship needed for youth to work and earn an income through online work.

Although Kenya has the leading number of online workers in the continent, according to statistics from the United Nations, the country is among five with the highest unemployment rates, behind Djibouti, Congo, Bosnia and Haiti.

Currently, 40, 000 people in the country make their money through online jobs.

"The future of work is online; we need to embrace the changing trends in the online work platforms and take advantage of technological advancements to slash the job's deficits," Mucheru said.

The CS added: "Take time, understand the trends that are changing and get the skills that you need and start leveraging the rest of the world."

But Mucheru had to defend the cost of internet connectivity in the country which some of the attendees complained were prohibitive and hampered the growth of online jobs.

"For most of the people who are currently doing online jobs, the cost of connectivity is not the issue. quality and availability are more a challenge," he said.

The CS said the cost of internet in the country was lower than in South Africa and San Fransico.

The Ministry of Information also said it was working with parliament and the constituency development fund to establish constituency innovation hubs where residents will be able to access free Wi-Fi as they positioned online jobs to overtake tourism as the major foreign exchange earner.

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