Kenyan government Jitume ICT Labs to empower youths with digital skills

The Government of Kenya has launched the first regional Jitume ICT Labs in Uasin Gishu and Bungoma Counties, in a bid to empower young people with digital skills and create job opportunities.

The initiative, which is under the broader Konza Innovation Ecosystem Initiative is focused on countering barriers hindering citizens from taking advantage of digital opportunities. It will help to tackle challenges ranging from access to digital devices and internet connectivity to training, and knowledge. The program is expected to create opportunities that can result in decent and dignified income.

The program is being implemented by the Ministry of ICT and the Digital Economy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, and Ministry of Labour led by  Konza Technopolis, ICT Authority, and TVET Authority.

During the launch of the program Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo highlighted the country’s roadmap to digital upskilling, saying that the program will focus on upskilling over one million young people entering the job market.

“The Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) envisages upskilling of over one million youth who enter the job market annually with ICT skills. Training them on ICT and other vocational areas will support the rapid adoption of ICT in business. Each Jitume Center will have 100 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with broadband connectivity, reliable power, security, and program coordinator provided by Konza Technopolis, “he said.

In Bungoma County, there are 17 Jitume ICT Labs that have already been deployed at TVET institutions across the country to take advantage of their already existing governance system, ability to attract critical numbers of youth, as well as human resource.

“We expect them to be all fully-operational by the end of February 2023. Trainees at the Kabete National Polytechnic are already beneficiaries, with some realizing their initial earnings from digital jobs. We are intensifying the Digital Talent Programme, whose key components are skill development, on-the-job coaching, mentorship, training, certification, and ICT innovations,” said the CS.

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