Will Ajira Digital Programme close unemployment gap among youth?

Youth going through training by Ajira Digital in order to secure online employment.Picture:Courtesy
Youth going through training by Ajira Digital in order to secure online employment.Picture:Courtesy

An account to immediately land a job is always a dream for every college or university freshman after a long struggle to pursue a career. In the contrary, uncertainty slumps them as they step out of the college door to find there are no jobs.

Unemployment in Kenya is a problem which is on the rise especially among the youth as thousands of brainy graduates join the job market annually.

The attempt to combat the problem has been an election agenda for almost every politician every electioneering season.

However, a programme recently rolled out by the government through the Ministry of ICT dubbed Ajira Digital Programme could be the solution to joblessness among the youth.

The strategic programme was officially flagged off in Nairobi by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.

The package is specific to introduce unemployed youths to various platforms for online jobs across the nation through a series of trainings followed by a four-month mentorship.

Kisumu was among the lucky counties that hosted the programme at Tom Mboya Labour College, a spectacle programme that will see over 1,000 youth introduced to the digital boards to make earnings. Counties that hosted the training programme include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Meru.

“We are keen and determined to support young Kenyans across the country. Kenya is among the African Countries with rapid development in terms of ICT,” said  Michael Onyango, CEC for ICT Kisumu County.

Speaking to Ajira Digital Programme trainees in Kisumu, Onyango noted that the Ministry in collaboration with relevant authorities in centres like Narok and Kisumu in Kenya and Moshi in Tanzania will invest in an improved risk assessment, urban upgrading, smarter land use and plans to strengthen environmental protection.

Onyango also talked about the upgrading ICT programmes in in the county, smarter land use and plans to strengthen environmental protection.

Onyango said that the fight to deliberate Kisumu County interns of ICT has moved forward fairly. “We are are not competing cities within the country, we are competing cities like Tokyo, Cairo, Abuja and Cape Town,” he noted.

Onyango who was making his fourth and second last visit at the event met with Green Leaf Youth Group Chairperson Jaramogi Ochoro.

“Through Ajira Digital Programme I expect to gain a lot of experience regarding online working platforms and transform my social media to economic media and through this transform the lives of youth within Kisumu County,” said Ochoro, one of the programme’s trainees.

Ochoro, who is a student from Maseno University and a chairperson of Green-leaf Youth Group Kenya noted that through the training his youth group will be able to boost their dreams agenda and create 100 jobs to the youth through the agricultural sector; enlighten farmers on advancement of farming technologies; enable youth to access knowledge and information as well as advocate for the youth social economic empowerment.

Evans Otekoh, one of the trainers said: “The programme is lucrative and has come at the right time when Kenyan youths are desperate to allocate job opportunities which is a dwindling factor. We are happy with the positive turn up from youths who registered on the Ajira platform and made it for the training.”

With outstanding online work experience, Otekoh called on the youth not to sit back waiting for an office job but instead adopt an attitude of self-employment as they create their own jobs with online job platform being the best option.

According to the United Nations in the Human Development Index (HDI) 2017 report, the rate of unemployment in Kenya is the highest in the East African region hitting a new high at 39.1 percent. This makes it the highest compared to its neighbours Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

Economic growth continues to disappoint and deficit in decent work remains widespread in the country. The country is currently facing a twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for tens of thousands of new labours.

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