The Ministry of ICT in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has today launched the Ajira Digital Program. The program is a multi-sectoral government initiative that aims to introduce young people to online work by providing them with tools, training and mentorship to work and earn an income through online work. It targets to enable over one million young Kenyans to access online jobs over the next one year.
The Ajira Digital has recruited 150 youth officers from all the 47 counties. The youth officers are in turn expected to sensitize those in counties about online job opportunities. In a previous interview, the ICT CS Joe Mucheru stated that the government has been making deliberate efforts to leverage on local skills to transfer half of the outsourcing and on-line jobs to Kenya over the next ten years. Currently, 41,000 Kenyans earn an income fully from online activities and this number is set to grow further as government increases investments in ICT. The Ajira Digital Program is aimed at achieving this quest.
According to a concept note prepared by the ICT Authority of Kenya for the program, the market size for online work is estimated to be USD 4.8 billion in 2016, projected to generate USD 15 billion by 2020. Kenya seeks to position itself as the global capital for ICT outsourcing. The benefits of the program will extend to social, economic and political.
Economically, current studies show that a young person in Kenya needs at least Kshs. 7,000 a month to meet their very basic needs. With access to digital work, young people could start providing for their basic needs. Access to digital work will build wealth and grow the middle class across the country. A larger middle class means more opportunities for businesses and direct growth of GDP.
Socially, jobs mean individuals will have the ability to earn a living wage, they are less likely to participate in crime and destructive behaviour while politically, the project will enhance national cohesion and integration and promote equitable development towards the achievement of vision 2030.