By David Mukara
Nyeri, March 14, 2019
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng and Mukurweini MP Hon. Anthony Kiai were among leaders who attended the launch at Mukurweini Technical Training Institute in Nyeri County.
The launch makes Mukurweini one of the leading Constituencies in installing the Hubs which are key infrastructural enablers to the Ajira Digital Programme.
CIH is one of the pillars of the Ajira Digital Programme which aims to introduce young people to online work and provide them with the necessary tools, training and mentorship to enable them to work and earn a decent income. CIH is under access to infrastructure pillar of the programme. Its aims are to enable free WiFi access to the public in 290 constituencies as part of the wider mission to ensure affordable broadband connectivity across the country.
Every constituency will start with one innovation hub and eventually increase them to four or more. Mukurweini now has four, and perhaps the PS, having seen the enthusiasm with which the local leaders and youths have embraced the project, has promised that the Ministry of ICT will facilitate the installation of four more.
He also launched the Institution’s Ajira Digital club. This is a component of Ajira Digital Programme and targets youths in all learning institutions in Kenya and aims to create awareness on the future of work and impart students with the right skills to enable them use technology to access digital work opportunities that can generate sustainable income.
The PS noted that the ministry’s efforts are aimed at promoting new, more flexible forms of employment, such as microwork and online contracting or the gig economy, whereby the job market favours freelance engagements or contracts as opposed to permanent employment. “We have realized that technical know-how is very key. Nowadays it has become a challenge to
find, say, a professional plumber or mansion because at one point the country focused on academic education (at the expense of technical training), he said. Adding to the many opportunities on the Ajira Digital platform, the PS said that the ICT Ministry
and Judiciary will be partnering to digitize the courts and the youths on the platform will have an opportunity to transcribe the court proceedings.
Area MP said that unemployment is becoming a crisis on itself and it is through programmes such as Ajira that the country can curb it. He thanked the Ministry of ICT for supporting the constituency in establishing the hubs.
The MP said that ICT is a big enabler of the Big 4 Agenda, giving an example of using e-commerce to advertise and sell goods realized under the manufacturing pillar and a good ICT infrastructure for realization of Universal Health coverage.
Other leaders present included Postal Corporation of Kenya CEO Mr. Dan Kagwe, Director of ICT in Nyeri County Jackson Ngatia and representatives of Telkom Kenya and CISCO.
The PS later paid a courtesy call to the Nyeri County Commissioner and inspected the Nyeri County National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), County Connectivity Project and County Information Office where he held a brief with the members of staff.