Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru, has emphasized on the government’s commitment to expand internet connectivity in the country in efforts to create employment for the youth.
Speaking in Turkana County, Mucheru said the ministry was not just connecting the county offices only, but also the sub county offices as well.
“This is a great vision which aligns with the Ajira digital programme that trains youth and allows them to earn a living by working online,” he said.
The CS noted that the organization had secured jobs from international companies and partnered with organizations in Australia to offer courses such as Graphic Design and animation.
He said the government would support the youth to acquire skills through the National Youth Service and Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions. They will also be able to acquire driving licences through the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA)
Founder of the Startup, Lions, Ludwig Bayern, said that the organization is committed to changing the face of the country and would equip the youth with skills to enable them earn a living and escape poverty.
“We have discovered that the biggest resource in Turkana is not oil or diamond but the minds of young people who, when given the right opportunity, can turn this place to a place of technology so that people will in future come and learn here,” said Bayern.
300 youth have so far acquired skills in website development, graphic design, animatio and other from the Loropio campus.
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MoICT) through the ICT Authority has also commissioned the rehabilitated Eldoret to Nakodok fibre optic cable and launched the construction of the 630 km high speed fibre optic cable funded by the Worldbank and the government to a tune of Sh3 billion.
Turkana County Governor, Josphat Nanok, who was a chief guest at the event said the project will benefit communities, government entities and businesses operating in his county. He also said that it will promote cross-border trade with South Sudan communities.
“Towns such as Eldoret, Kitale, Lodwar, Kakuma, Lokichar and Lokichoggio will greatly benefit from the new fibre optic cable in line with the Ministry’s long term plans to transform lives through smart ICT infrastructure and bridging the digital divide,” he said.
The Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure representative Eng. James Kungu said the project had been implemented in November 2015 and will close in December 2021. The World Bank will also fund construction of 338 km of the road from Lokichar to the border and Kainuk Bridge which is at the border of Turkana and West Pokot counties.
“In the recent past, the Government and the World Bank have shifted project design from the traditional sector-specific project activities to a more inclusive multi-sectoral approach. This has seen the enhancement of collaboration amongst several sectors including ICT, Transport, trade and industry, among others. This has had the effect of enhancing project results and widening the beneficiary communities,” he said.
“The ICT Authority has completed rehabilitation of fibre optic cable from Eldoret town and a wireless solution has also been extended to Nadapal. This section of the project will provide connectivity between Northern Rift part of Kenya to the counties of Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Turkana and West Pokot.”ICT Authority CEO Dr. Katherine Getao said.