State seeks partners to expand digital hubs across slums

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The government is keen on striking more partnerships with various organisations as it constructs digital hubs across the 47 counties.

ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo said Thursday that the hubs would be used to impart digital skills under the government’s Ajira Digital initiative targeting the youth.

Through Ajira, the government hopes to empower more than one million young Kenyans by raising access to digital job opportunities.

Owalo said the government will continuously reach out to organisations and individuals ready to partner with it to make the programme a success.

Kenya Kwanza, through its ICT agenda, seeks to build a digitally empowered nation where citizens can readily work and also get services conveniently and efficiently.

The CS spoke in Nairobi after a meeting with officials of Shining Hope for Communities (Shofco), an organisation that supports capacity building for the youth in urban slums, and which has shown interest in supporting the construction of digital hubs.

“We discussed collaboration that involves the setting up digital hubs in Kibra and other informal settlements in Kenya,” Mr Owalo said.  

Resilient societies

Shofco Chief Executive Kennedy Odede said his organisation is pleased to partner with the State to empower youth residing in the slums through digital training. “When we empower our youth, we build more inclusive and resilient societies where everyone has a voice and can contribute to the development of the community.

“This will be a game-changer. We are pleased to partner with the Ministry of ICT to build digital hubs in slums. This will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of many young Kenyans,” Odede said.

He said most of our programmes are about empowering youth and women.

"With this support from the government through the ICT Ministry, we are going to expand the digital training program for our youth to every slum in the country,” Odede stated.

The Ajira Digital programme is a government initiative designed to empower over one million young Kenyans by facilitating access to digital job opportunities. Odede said Ajira had transformed the lives of many youths, with most of them now earning money courtesy of the programme.

He stated that they expect youth entrepreneurs to network and develop partnerships to launch their businesses.

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