Kiambu County plans to invest at least Sh1 billion in technology and innovation to create digital job opportunities for the youth.
This emerged during the Kiambu Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week where ICT, Youth, and Innovation Chief Administrative Secretary Maureen Mbaka said the government is committed to ensuring that Kenya becomes a transformed society where every citizen will have access to services, basic needs and job opportunities through investment in technology.
Mbaka said ICT is a key enabler in the achievement of the economic, social, and political development of the country.
The CAS Further eluded that the Ajira Digital programme seeks to have 1 million Kenyan youth earning a decent wage from digital and digitally-enabled jobs annually in the Gig and Freelancing economy through Training and Demand linkages.
“This is the future of work and will be the norm even far after the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme offers free training and mentorship to the youth offering them access to dignified work while creating awareness and consumer education and access to infrastructure. It structured in a way that allows the government to address any challenges that Kenyans are faced with as they try to take advantage of the gig economy and for it to have a lasting impact.
Since the launch of the Ajira Digital Programme in 2016, 84, 000 youth have been trained countrywide including students in 40 universities and 52 TVET institutions.
682 people are currently working online as an alternative source of income thus liberating themselves and their families and dependent from poverty.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro in his remarks said his Administration has implemented various interventions ranging from sports-based activities, access to credit, training, and mentorship programmes that are geared at ensuring that the youth are continually engaged.
“Through a consortium of regional universities, private sector firms, and international partners including Vergent Technology Solutions, we will soon launch a new program aimed at accelerating the transformation of local entrepreneurs in the IT space through technologies that improve everyday lives,” said Nyoro.
Some of these impactful interventions include the provision of technical and business skills to enable the youth to secure opportunities to upscale their small businesses or start new ones which would go a long way in putting money in their pockets and reducing crime, desperation, and feelings of marginalization.
Nyoro said the County has set aside Sh1.3 billion to disburse affordable capital to the youth and facilitate them to create their own employment, add value to their products and link them to markets.
The end goal is to create a conducive environment in which disruptive innovations can be developed which in turn can spur the entrepreneurial spirit and catalyze new areas of growth and opportunities.
Kiambu County will invest Sh1 billion over the next decade in technology innovation to deliver benefits in among other areas, health care, energy and the environment, computing, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and advanced materials.