Youth in Mbooni, Makueni County are set to enhance their digital skills as the government roll out Jitume Digital labs at the David Mbithi Wambuli Technical and Vocational College.
“Our expectation is that by providing this facility the youth of Mbooni will upscale their digital knowledge and take advantage of the digital economy we are creating,” said Eliud Owalo, the CS for ICT and Digital Economy.
The Jitume Digital Enablement Program is a national government digital initiative aimed at equipping at least one million youths with skills and necessary infrastructure to enable them take part in the digital economy and create the millions of jobs President Ruto promised hustlers. It encourages the youth to take it upon themselves to access digital devices to learn and be certified in digital skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The government plans to install 23,000 Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDIs) in over 200 Jitume Hubs spread across the country. So far 42 Jitume Labs have been launched since the kick off of the program in December 2022.
“We have installed 100 VDIs, connected them to internet to enable users enhance their digital skills which we expect will make them join the digital economy, create jobs and earn decent income,” John Paul Okwiri, the CEO of Konza Technopolis said.
In addition the government is also launching public WiFi spots, extending the fibre optic cable infrastructure by 1,000 kilometres to enhance connectivity.
“The government has doubled down on enhancing internet access to buttress the bet on ICT to transform the economy with the target of youth joining the digital fray to tap into the new jobs and careers that did not exist ten years ago such as transcription, editing, photography, blogging, professional online training, software as a service, artistic performance and many others,” Owalo said.
Jitume program is a government initiative aimed at providing access to digital skills, e-services and online opportunities to the youth across the country. 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, the ICT Authority and TVET Authority is implementing the program. Through the program, youth from all the 47 counties will undertake on the job training for digitally enabled jobs. Additionally, the students will benefit from various courses online and receive certification upon completion.
The Program is part of the implementation of the Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) that envisages the ICT skill development targeting over one million youth who enter the job market annually.
The Program seeks to complement and build up on the successes of other existing government Digital enablement programs among them the Ajira Digital and Kenya youth employment program by addressing the key challenges of Connectivity, Device access, Skills, and job opportunities.
Other agencies collaborating with the key partners to deliver training under the program, include; Emobilis Technology Institute, Moringa School, Pathways Technologies and Huawei Technologies.