Huawei has announced that in its first year, the DigiTruck trained more than 1,500 youth on digital skills across 13 locations in 10 Counties as it travels around the country. Following the successful 1st year and the tremendous support it has had from national agencies, county governments as well as implementation partners, Huawei will support the DigiTruck for a second year as it moves around the country.
The announcement was made today when the DigiTruck arrived in Kitui to start four weeks of digital skills training for youth helping them do business and work online. It arrived from Nyeri where Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Joe Mucheru presided over the graduation of 100 youth and thanked Huawei and the National Youth Council for making sure the youth across Kenya received digital skills training: “We are thankful to the partners we have; CFSK and Huawei, helping us bring connectivity across the country even to our youth.”
Digital equity and workforce development are essential if everyone is to participate in the digital economy. Public private partnerships have played a key role in bridging the digital divide therefore reducing the barriers of participation and entry for marginalized communities. In addition, the pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in our country with regard to technology and digital accessibility especially with the need to work remotely and access education online. The Huawei DigiTruck has given the beneficiaries the skills necessary to work remotely and has been able to operate in rural areas whilst strictly following COVID-19 protocols.
The DigiTruck is a solar-powered mobile classroom equipped with internet and smart devices. The DigiTruck is supported by various partners including the National Youth Council, UNESCO, GSMA, and Safaricom and contributes to the government’s Ajira initiative by enabling youth in rural areas to get the digital skills they need to thrive in society and the world of work.
Training on the truck is provided by Computers For Schools Kenya (CFSK) who provide a 20-40 hour course covering using computers; common document, spreadsheets and presentation software; smartphones and the internet, so that they can find jobs online, buy and sell products online, study online and take advantage of the Ajira platform. They also learn about e-waste and being safe online. The Huawei DigiTruck is one aspect of Huawei’s digital skills training program that also include programs training youth at Universities and TVETs nationwide.
Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO Public Affairs at Huawei Kenya recently noted that ICT is critical and the fastest growing part of the economy but that provision of technology on its own is not enough if people don’t know how to use it. Hence Huawei is helping provide digital skills all over the country, especially focused on rural areas.
Huawei Digitruck is a program under Huawei Tech4all, a digital inclusion initiative focusing on three main areas namely technology, application and skills to empower people and organizations across the globe. The DigiTruck has been moving around the country providing digital skills. Despite a 3-month pause when the pandemic first broke, the DigiTruck resumed operations again in line with government health protocols. In its first year of operations the DigiTruck has provided over 22,000 hours of training for youth in Bomet, Embu, Kericho, Laikipia, Machakos, Meru, Nandi, and Nyeri so far.
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