The Kenyan government has unveiled a new digital upskilling programme seeking to enhance the employability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the youth targeting to train over 50,000 entrepreneurs.
The Programme by the Ministry of Industrialization, Stanbic Kenya Foundation, and Microsoft will see key private sector players address a digital skills gap within the market through the rich digital learning and skilling initiative.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies and institutions are changing their business models into digital platforms in order to cope and stay connected with their customers and other key stakeholders thus underscoring the need for a tech-savvy workforce.
The Programme under the Trade Ministry in partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft East Africa will see a total of 1,000 government employees up-skilled and seconded to the program as instructors.
Currently, Kenya has 7.4m MSMEs operating locally who contribute 34pc to the GDP.
According to Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina: “More than 90 percent of businesses in Kenya and around the world are run by Entrepreneurs/SMEs. Digital skills are what will take them to the next level”
Adding that, “We welcome the private sector in supporting the government’s efforts to advance our digital strategy, particularly with regards to Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development. ” Said Trade CS Betty Maina.
The program expects to place 2,000 youth into employment this year.
The partnership seeks to build capacity of MSMEs for sustainable development & equip them with skills to compete effectively in a liberalized economy despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic. Currently Kenya has 7.4m MSMEs operating locally who contribute 34% to the GDP.
— Trade Kenya (@Trade_Kenya) February 15, 2021
“At Microsoft, equipping citizens with adequate resources and technology so that they are able to upskill and re-skill has always been at the center of our work,” said Kendi Nderitu, Country Manager at Microsoft in Kenya.
The government believes technology will play a key role in transforming the economy and creating employment.