By David Mukara
March 23rd 2019, Bungoma
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru has lauded Bungoma County leadership for prioritizing ICT matters and being among the leading Counties in setting up the Constituency Innovation Hubs (CIH) – a key infrastructural enabler of the Ajira Digital Programme.
The county has so far established 10 CIH centers which has seen many youths in the county get training on Ajira Digital. So far, 250 youths have been trained with the Ajira County committee targeting 3,400 by the year 2022.
Martha Nafula from Tongaren Sub-county is one of the youths already working and earning good money online. The former P1 teacher said she quit her job to focus on working online owing to the flexible nature of online work.
The CS noted that service delivery to the locals has greatly improved owing to the impressive fibre connectivity significally increasing the number of services offered at the Bungoma Huduma Centre which he visited when he officially launched the Bungoma Ajira Digital programme at the Bungoma County headquarters yesterday.
Bungoma County Governor Wycliffe Wangamati said the County is focusing on capacity building and ICT infrastructure improvement like high speed broad band and uninterrupted power supply to ensure that youths from the county reap big from Ajira digital programme.
He revealed that the County is planning to set up “one big County Innovation Hub” that will train youths on how to develop mobile applications, digital literacy, web-based applications, cyber security, forensics among other skills.
“Ajira is the best news for us and in our 2019/2020 budget, with the support of the members of the County Assembly, we will commit some resources towards capacity building and infrastructure for the Ajira programme,” he said.
The Governor who is also the Chair of ICT and Finance at the Council of Governors noted that youths in the county are earning between Kshs 50,000 and 60,000 per month from online jobs which is the starting salary for many professionals such as doctors and engineers and that the county innovation hubs the county plans to set up will also focus on creating awareness on online work to the youth.
The CS said that the country is going to reap big from the 2017 visit by e-commerce mogul, Jack Ma citing the Kshs 1 billion Africa fund that he set up and is run by Nailab which targets innovators churning out digital solutions with the hope of strengthening the continent’s digital economy. The 1 billion kitty will award 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.