Youth in Kenya are benefitting a great deal from the Ajira Digital Program, a government initiative by the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs, that has been empowering young people in digital skills to help them tap in the digital economy.
The project aims to bridge the gap between skills demand and unemployment. Ajira Digital has since its inception in 2017, empowered over one million young people so far to access digital job opportunities.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with the government through the Ministry of ICT and the Rockefeller Foundation launched Phase 1 of the Ajira Digital Project between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.
The main objectives of Ajira Digital are to raise the profile of Digital Work; Promote a mentorship and collaborative learning approach to finding digital work; Provide Kenyans with access to digital work, and ultimately Promote Kenya as a destination for online workers.
The government continues to encourage young people to make use of the digital space to seek online employment and earn income through online work. This comes in the backdrop of a growing Gig economy that seen a good number of Kenyans secure jobs online.
According to a 2021 report released by the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru, a total of 1.2 million people, which translates to 5% of the adult population, are currently working online through Ajira Digital program.
“Our June 2021 National study on digital and digitally-enabled work & awareness of the Ajira Digital Program in Kenya established that 5% of the adult population in Kenya are digital workers,” CS Mucheru said.
Digital Marketing, Data Entry and Article Writing are top of the jobs Kenyans are doing online.
Digital marketing has 282,041 online workers engaging, (22 percent), Data entry (21 percent) and Academic paper writing (20 percent).
There has also been an increase in Virtual Assistant services, according to the report.
“Kenyans offer different services on online forums. Digital platforms for sports betting, virtual assistants, surveys among others have recorded an increase,” the report read in part.
Ajira Digital Clubs
The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs also in November 2021 launched an AJIRA Digital Club at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in a bid to reach more youth and expand footprints of the AJIRA Digital Program across the country.
The club is run by students and acts as additional training, incubation and mentorship forum that help equip the students to access digital and digitally-enabled job opportunities.
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1.2 Million People Working Online in Kenya