Govt Rolls Out Online Job Programme for 1 Million Youth

  • A file image of a woman using a phone.
    A model illustration of a lady using a phone in an image dated 2019.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Up to one million youthful Kenyans will be trained in a programme rolled by the  National Government to provide skills for online jobs and mitigate the hard bitting economic situation.

    ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on January 27, 2021, confirmed that the state-backed project aimed at training one million youth on freelance online jobs is on track.

    The programme, christened Ajira Initiative which was launched in 2017, had previously taken a hit after the ICT Ministry decried lack of funds. This is after the national government reallocated funds meant for the programme to other state projects.

    Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during a past event
    Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during a past event
    Daily Nation

    The ministry stated that the initiative would enable the youth in the country to acquire digital skills that could enable them to get temporary online jobs to enable them to fend for themselves. These include software development and transcription services.

    CS Mucheru revealed that the initiative would be achieved at constituency level through the hiring of mentors, provision of free internet connectivity and workspaces through the Constituency innovation hub.

    He further revealed that 320 innovation hubs had been set up across the country between July 2017 and June 2020.

    The ministry will roll out the programme nationwide in conjunction with MasterCard Foundation, after the organisation stepped in in June 2019 committing Ksh30 billion under the Young Africa Works in Kenya programme targetting to equip five million Kenyan youth with digital skills.

    The organisation along with other private entities transformed the Ajira Initiative to a public-private sector.

    CS Mucheru indicated that they would embark on the construction of more ICT hubs in constituencies as to hit the 870 centre target.

    A report by the ministry revealed that for the period spanning July 2017 and June 2020, 55,766 youths were trained under the programme, falling short of a 310,000 trainees target.

    The ministry had then attributed the failure to a 75 per cent cut back on their budget. Data by the Treasury indicate that the ministry was awarded Ksh14.9 billion in two years leading up to June 2020, indicating a 49.27 per cent reduction from the initial Ksh29.36 billion.

    Jobseekers wait to hand in their documents during recruitment at County Hall in Nairobi, 2019.
    Jobseekers wait to hand in their documents during recruitment at County Hall in Nairobi, 2019.
    NMG