ICT and Digital Economy CS Eliud Owalo has launched the first regional Jitume Laboratories in Uasin Gishu and Bungoma Counties.
The Jitume program is a government initiative aimed at providing digital skills, e-services, and online opportunities to young people throughout Kenya.
It is being implemented by several ministries, including the Ministry of ICT and the Digital Economy, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, and the Ministry of Labour.
The program will provide on-the-job training and online courses to young people from all 47 counties and will lead to certification upon completion.
CS Owalo hopes that within three to five years, the program will benefit at least one million young people across the country and reduce unemployment.
President William Ruto launched the Jitume program in December 2022, aiming to build on the successes of existing digital enablement programs like Ajira Digital and the Kenya Youth Employment Programme.
The program has already deployed 17 Jitume Labs at Technical Vocational Training Institutions (TVETs) across the country, with more to come by the end of February 2023.
Each Jitume Center will have 100 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with broadband connectivity, reliable power, security, and program coordinators provided by Konza Technopolis.
The first phase of the program seeks to deploy two centers in each of the 47 counties by June 2023.
The Jitume program is part of the government’s efforts to drive the digital sector forward. The government has defined major flagship projects, including training citizens and improving digital literacy, developing fiber optic infrastructure, setting up hotspots and innovation hubs, and automating and digitizing core government services.
Bungoma County Governor, Rt. Hon. Ken Lusaka, and Uasin Gishu County Governor Jonathan Bii Chelilim have both pledged to support the program in their counties to support the digital economy.
CS Owalo said: “The Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) envisages upskilling of over one million youth who enter the job market annually with ICT skills. Training them on ICT and other vocational areas will support the rapid adoption of ICT in business. Each Jitume Center will have 100 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with broadband connectivity, reliable power, security and program coordinator provide by Konza Technopolis.”
“We expect them to be all fully-operational by the end of February 2023. Trainees at the Kabete National Polytechnic are already beneficiaries, with some realizing their initial earning from digital jobs. We are intensifying the Digital Talent Programme, whose key components are skill development, on the job coaching, mentorship, training, certification and ICT innovations,” he added.