Experts urge State to use ICT to create jobs for the youth

Sunday December 08 2019

Mr Alex Fares (right) awards an employee during an ICT meeting by Unitel Services Limited in Kisumu on December 6, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY


The ICT sector could create more jobs for the youth if the government reviews its policies to bolster the sector, experts have said.

They said post-secondary ICT training for young innovators could unlock the sector’s untapped potential.

The experts said the ICT sector should be made part of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda.

Led by Mr Alex Fares, Chief Executive Officer of Unitel Services Limited, a team of sector players said Kenya has made some strides in boosting ICT growth and internet access. They however said that more should be done to make a reliable and efficient connectivity a reality.


“The government has directed a lot of investment at infrastructure but that may be not enough, more efforts should be made towards this end for economic growth,” Mr Fares said.


He singled Northern parts of Kenya where internet coverage is at its lowest. He said internet is a critical driver of economic growth.

Mr Fares said with better internet connectivity, e-services will be within reach in health, education and across all critical sectors of the economy.

He said Kenyans were heavily relying on the internet and mobile data connections to complete daily tasks and access basic e-services.

Mr Fares, who spoke in Kisumu on Friday, announced the firm's massive expansion programme in East Africa.

Unitel is a Kenyan owned company licensed by Communications Authority of Kenya as a telecommunication business contractor.

“We are looking forward to get into South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda,” Mr Fares said.


Unitel director in charge of development, strategy and innovations Denis Radonji said they have aligned themselves to the government’s Big Four Agenda. Mr Radonji said they have a duty to assist the government to improve ICT services.  

“ICT is an enabler for the realisation of the Big Four Agenda,” he said.

He said the company is working closely with the ministry of ICT after putting in place a digital transformation blue print.

Company chairman Fredrick Oketch said the firm has lined up programmes that will create jobs for Kenyan youths.

“Unitel has a policy and programme to absorb some of the university and college students for internship, we retain some of them after industrial attachment,” he said.