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Kenya targets 3.5m jobs for youths in e-commerce, startups by 2027

By , Kenya Correspondent
Kenya , 15 Feb 2024
Kenya's ICT cabinet secretary Eliud Owalo.
Kenya's ICT cabinet secretary Eliud Owalo.

The Kenyan government has laid out an ambitious goal to provide employment prospects for up to 3.5 million young people by 2027 through e-commerce and startups.

This plan is outlined in the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy's 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

The strategy plan outlines the areas in which the government must focus its efforts to produce more effective communications and campaigns, collaborate across organisational barriers to innovate, and seize the opportunities presented by emerging technology.

Among the top priorities of the plan is economic transformation through increased digital job creation, inclusive growth and keeping the public informed about critical legislation and access to public services.

The government is reaching out to local entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) for solutions.

During this time, the Kenyan government has pledged to create an enabling business environment that improves access to information and fosters a diverse spectrum of digitally enabled start-ups and investments from top multinational technology businesses.

The plan's main strategies include bringing internet connectivity to every ward, installing free public Wi-Fi in public places, and digitising government services.

‘’The plan has taken cognizance that prioritization of projects and programmes is crucial towards eradicating poverty, creating jobs, increasing revenue collection, improving our foreign exchange balance for economic growth and development’’ the plan reads.

The government says it will use local startups and MSMEs to create government solutions. This, it claims, will result in 100% solutions driven by MSMEs by the end of the strategic plan.

The ministry noted that the previous strategic plan (2018-2022) aimed to train and connect 240,000 young people to online and digitally enabled jobs.

“Out of these, 91,615 were trained through the programme including 2,000 in remote areas using the Digi-truck project. The project has enabled 1,942,609 youths to access online and digitally-enabled jobs,” it says.

The government says in the plan that it’s committed to transforming the MSMEs sector by ending the criminalisation of work, reviewing and rationalising business, increasing access to finance, developing infrastructure and capacity building.

The plan also identifies seven key result areas with the corresponding strategic objectives and strategies for its effective implementation.

These areas include Policy, Legal and Institutional Frameworks; Digital Superhighway, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Infrastructure; Digital Government Services and Products; Universal Access to Information; Business Process Outsourcing / IT Enabled Services and Local Content Development; Governance, Finance and Human Capital Development; and Cyber Security, Data Governance and Emerging Technologies.

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