Training in ICT to expand job market, improve services for Kenya
The Kenyan government has stepped up its efforts to partner and invest in the development of information and communication technology skills to facilitate creation of formal and informal jobs. It also plans to use ICT to make its services easily accessible to people from marginalized communities.
Jerome Ochieng, Kenya's principal secretary for ICT and Youth Affairs, has said ICT can be used to promote efficient public service provision and is an enabler of development. He added the economic pillar of Kenya's long-term development plan, Vision 2030, considers ICT and related business process outsourcing as important drivers of economic growth and key to job creation.
Thus, the Kenyan government last week entered into a pact with the Huawei Kenya Engineering Training Academy that will see the institution become an authorized training center for frontier tech skills for the next three years.
The academy, run by Huawei Technologies Kenya Limited, will be tasked with equipping almost 20,000 government officers, professionals and students with Fourth Industrial Revolution skills in ICT.
"The agreement is a major highlight of the efforts of the government of Kenya to create a digital economy, given the MoU signed in 2014 between Huawei and Kenya's ICT Authority. The aim is to equip the Kenyan youth and hence bridge the gap between academia and the job market," Ochieng said.
During the unveiling of the agreement on March 25, Joe Mucheru, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for ICT and Youth Affairs, explained the initiative is in line with the government's commitment to increase the number of services Kenyans can access online.
"This new program, the largest of its kind in our history, is akin to the software development part of ICT capacity-building and is expected to take three years. In this period, we will advance the skill sets of government officers through the Huawei academy," Mucheru said.
He added Huawei has been instrumental in developing Kenya's ICT infrastructure and elevating ICT skills across various levels, training civil servants from various government agencies since 2020.
He said this pilot group was equipped with knowledge on the latest cutting-edge technologies including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet of things, e-government and smart cities in addition to non-technical training focused on ICT transformation, cyber security and information security.
Will Meng, Huawei Technologies Kenya Limited's chief executive officer, said providing training to public officers in the use of technology is essential in many improvements that have substantial impact.
"Huawei has been committed for more than 20 years not only to build the ICT infrastructure in Kenya but also nurture local ICT talent. Combining the capabilities of the private sector with those of the public sector has proven to be a successful approach to helping unlock the country's potential and boost growth," Meng said.
The new partnership between Huawei and the Kenyan government is targeting to train 200 high-level advanced ICT experts and 5,000 ICT technical experienced professionals. This is in addition to 2,500 civil servants and 12,000 graduates, students and youth countrywide.