ICT Chief Administrative Secretary Maureen Mbaka has urged the youth in Kisii County to engage in online jobs to earn a living.
Mbaka was speaking in Kisii University where she presided over the issuance of a cheque worth Ksh 13, 873,000 from Youth Enterprise Fund to 80 youth groups after engaging with young artists on how government policies and structures can be better utilized to make them more successful.
Underscoring the role of online platforms in providing a livelihood for the youth, the CAS said the national government had hired 300 public service interns nationwide to train youths in various universities and TIVET institutions on how to earn a decent wage from working online.
Mbaka noted that Gusii region had received 6 interns, 3 in Kisii and 3 Nyamira, who were also mandated to sensitize local youth on how to utilize County Information Hubs (CIH) which are in the process of being constituted in every constituency.
She applauded the Nyaribari Chache constituency for providing premises for a CIH at Keumbu and Nyaribari Masaba for the one at Masimba.
She said the two will be operational soon when they are equipped and connected with the internet.
However, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Ajira Digital Program in the learning institutions was stopped following the abrupt closure of schools by the Ministry of Education to contain the Coronavirus spread.
During the event which was also attended by the Kisii University Vice-Chancellor Prof. John Akama and County CEC for Youth Affairs Duke Maenga, Mbaka also appealed to the young artists to utilize their talents to make a livelihood and escalate the country’s development agenda even as the government helps them through Studio Mtaani Programme for the recording of videos and music for free.
She also urged the youth to utilize government’s Youth Enterprise Funds to engage in entrepreneurship among other lucrative ventures.
Earlier, Mbaka met heads of departments in the ICT ministry where she discussed various government ventures geared towards empowering and equipping youth socially and economically, including internship for 1,200 youth under Kenya Youth Empowerment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP).
The interns are attached to various experienced craftsmen in various trades including tailoring, carpentry, welding, mechanics, plumbing and hairdressing among others.
Under ICT Authority, Mbaka discussed National Optical Fiber Backbone infrastructure (NOFBI) which has enabled immense growth of internet usage during the covid-19 pandemic saving government officers of data costs as they were able to hold online meetings easily.
It was noted during the meeting that Kisii Men’s and women’s prisons were some of the 14 sites in the County connected with NOFBI under the County Connectivity Project (CCP) which aims at promoting online services via the use of telephones emails and teleconferencing.
Under the Digital Literacy programme which is aimed at preparing learners for today’s digital world and transforming the country into the 21st-century education system, it was noted that the ministry of ICT had supplied 34,686 DLP devices and 1,396 teacher devices to 698 primary schools in Kisii county, besides installation of 698 projectors.
All schools with the devices are connected to the National grid which has improved electrification to the nearby rural homes and which means children brought up in such rural environment will be able to compete in the digital and ICT fields with those brought up in the urban settings.