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Kenya accelerates rollout of digital hubs

By , Kenya Correspondent
13 Mar 2024
Eliud Owalo, Kenya's cabinet secretary for information, communications, and the digital economy.
Eliud Owalo, Kenya's cabinet secretary for information, communications, and the digital economy.

Kenya is positioning itself at the forefront of Africa’s Business Process Outsourcing sector (BPO) by rolling out digital hubs across the East African country.

The government is establishing these facilities through the Jitume (Swahili for 'Send' Yourself) project.

The construction of hubs is included in Kenya's Digital Masterplan 2022-2032, which governs the systematic delivery of ICT infrastructure, services, and skill development.

It also provides the country with a 10-year strategy for ICT projects to help investors determine their priorities.

It lists 19 key initiatives on which the government will focus in order to advance the country's digital transformation

More than 40 Jitume Hubs have been opened, with the most recent two being in the east-central district of Tindiret.

According to Eliud Owalo, cabinet secretary for information, communications, and the digital economy, the hubs are an important part of President William Samoei Ruto's and the ruling Kenya Kwanza administration's youth development strategy, which includes digital skills and digital jobs.

A Jitume centre typically has up to 100 virtual desktop infrastructures with broadband access.

According to Owalo, the centres will allow young people to access global career prospects while also strengthening the country's BPO capacity.

The eyeing of BPO comes at a time when the sector is being hailed as one of the hopeful industries that would guide the continent's economic recovery and reconstruction following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Africa has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world, and the industry is considered to be a driving force behind employment opportunities.

The government of East Africa's largest economy expects more than one million youths to benefit from the Jitume scheme over the next three to five years.

“Our goal is to make Kenya a global leader in technology, top Business Process Outsourcing and IT-enabled services,” Eng. John Tanui, ICT and digital economy permanent secretary, said.

He added: “We are empowering young people to leverage on government infrastructure like free internet and Jitume ICT centers for the vast online work opportunities,” after launching the hub at the Tindiret Technical and Vocational College.

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