Kenya’s digital literacy gap is set to narrow further as the first ever mobile computer lab scales up its activity across the country with half of its beneficiaries expected to be girls and women.
Built by Huawei in partnership with Close the Gap and operated by the Computers for Schools Kenya to train young Kenyans across all 47 counties, the facility known as DigiTruck, aims to impact an additional 10,000 youth annually as the drive to expand and deepen computer literacy accelerates.
Speaking during the visit to the Digitruck, DP Rigathi Gachagua reiterated the government’s steadfast commitment to enhancing digital literacy among Kenyans.
“We intend to increase our investments in digital technology as a sure path to the national job creation agenda. Government services are steadily and increasingly becoming digital and we estimate that by the year 2030, 50 to 55% of jobs in Kenya will depend on digital skills. Our partnership to train 10,000 Kenyans a year will strengthen digital skills for online jobs,” said DP Gachagua.
Converted from a used shipping container mounted on a truck, the fully solar-powered DigiTruck can be driven into the heart of remote communities, even those without a power supply. It is equipped with 20 laptops, 20 smartphones, VR headsets, and 4G Internet Wi-Fi. Each course provides 40 hours of training in skills such as using computers and the Internet to write a resume, finding and applying for jobs online, starting an e-commerce business, and online safety. It has in the last three years trained nearly 3,000 Kenyans as part of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative.
The DigiTruck project is run in close partnership with national and county government agencies, including the National Youth Council, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), which provides content relating to online safety; GSMA, which provides smartphone training materials; and Safaricom, which provides Internet bundles so that students can access Wi-Fi on the DigiTruck via Huawei’s 4G CPE. It is driven under Huawei’s long-term TECH4ALL digital inclusion initiative, which aims to leave no one behind in the digital world.
“Huawei runs many programs aimed at improving the capabilities of Kenya’s ICT talent and building a stronger ICT ecosystem with a goal to train 10,000 ICT talents in Kenya each year for the next three years,” said Steven Zhang, Deputy CEO of Public Affairs for Huawei Kenya. “The Digitruck provides basic digital skills to youth in rural areas and runs alongside other advanced ICT courses for university students such as Seeds for the Future and ICT Academy.”
Huawei and its partners have also expanded the DigiTruck project from Kenya to other countries, including France and Ethiopia.