Over one million unemployed youth in Kenya are set to benefit from online jobs over the next year in a programme launched by the government on Thursday.
The Information, Communications and Technology ministry, in collaboration with the ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, has launched an online portal, ajiradigital.go.ke, where youths can register and work online.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the programme aims to introduce young people to online work by providing them with tools, training and mentorship to work and earn through online work.
“This programme is in line with the government’s promise of job creation and a response to a globally growing market for online work,” Mr Mucheru said.
Youths will be earning Sh2,200 for every job they do and they will only be taxed at 5 per cent, to allow them to reap enough income for sustainability.
He said at the moment, the ICT ministry estimates that there are 400,000 Kenyans working online but the demand is still high.
Kenya is ranked top in Africa and the 10th biggest global supplier of online workers and this, according to Mr Mucheru, contributes to the economy and reduces the unemployment rate.
“The ICT ministry will soon be launching constituency innovation hubs across the country. These hubs will be located in CDF offices and will have 24-hour free Internet access which will allow people to register, download and upload their work,” he said.
To facilitate this, the ministry is already in the process of procuring equipment that will be stationed in the 47 counties and has already awarded a tender to Telkom Kenya to provide Internet services.
Ajira Digital has recruited 150 officers from all the 47 counties to help in sensitising and facilitating the youths with the skills to enable them to work online.
“Unemployment in the country has really contributed to the increase in crime such as robbery, drug trafficking and the youth are also exposed to trafficking and radicalisation,” said Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.