Global IT firms offer 100 internships to Kenyans

President Uhuru Kenyatta presents an award to one of the 100 Presidential Digitalent Programme trainee at University of Nairobi on February 10, 2105 (Daily Nation)

Global and Kenyan IT firms have pledged to offer hundreds of internship slots annually aimed at providing on-the-job training for fresh graduates.

The Presidential Digital Talent Programme launched Tuesday will see 100 graduate trainees get offers for internships and mentorship this year by international as well as local technology companies.

“The programme is a private–public partnership and will offer internships for 100 talented graduates from across the country,” said Muchemi Wambugu, the chairman of the digital talent programme.

The initiative is aimed at helping to push towards an e-government that delivers public services online. It will be run under the Information Communications and Technology ministry through the ICT Authority.

The authority is working in partnership with IT firms including Cisco, Microsoft, CIO East Africa, Bamba Group, Google, Huawei, Safaricom and the University of Nairobi among others.

As he officially launched the programme, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he expects the programme to grow next year, setting a target of 400 internship slots.

According to Mr Wambugu, who is also a partner at PwC, the programme will also constitute a stipend for the students who will be given a laptop and a mentor.

The internships will offer participants an opportunity to understand government services, and provide them with a chance to contribute towards improving service delivery.

In addition, the initiative is expected to promote the government’s ICT Master plan in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030.

The government has been automating its services with the latest being the online application of and payments for driving licences as well as online payment for passport application.

In November, the Kenya Investment Authority announced plans to set up e-centre, an online platform that will host agencies that approve applications and promote investments, enabling them to share information on real-time basis.

Just like with the physical centre, the electronic platform will issue work permits, licences, land titles, PIN numbers, power quotations and environment impact assessment approvals.

The one-stop centres modelled around recently launched Huduma centres, will host the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons, National Land Commission/Ministry of Lands and Kenya Revenue Authority.

IT firm Cisco last year said that Africa will generate $500 billion in revenue in 2020 if it adopts Internet connectivity for utility and service infrastructure in cities.

ICT cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i said during the launch, Kenya will lay out an additional 1,600 kilometres of fibre and once the digital migration is completed in June, start on building LTE (4G) network infrastructure.

Originally published on Business Daily.


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