By Nyaboga Kiage,
Huawei mobile company has over the last one year trained 1,500 youth across the country in digital skills.
In a program dubbed DigiTruck, Huawei picked the 1,500 youth from 10 counties which include; Bomet, Embu, Kericho, Laikipia, Machakos, Meru, Nandi, and Nyeri.
The DigiTruck is a solar-powered mobile classroom equipped with internet and smart devices.
The DigiTruck is supported by various partners including the National Youth Council, UNESCO, GSMA, and Safaricom and contributes to the government’s Ajira initiative by enabling youth in rural areas to get the digital skills they need to thrive in society and the world of work.
Huawei announced that the program will be running again this year.
“Following the successful first year and the tremendous support it has had from national agencies, county governments as well as implementation partners, Huawei will support the DigiTruck for a second year as it moves around the country,” a statement released by Huawei on Wednesday read in part.
Huawei is currently in Kitui County where it is planning to train youth on digital skills that can help them work online and make a living during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week during the closure of similar training in Nyeri, Cabinet Secretary for ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru, who presided over the graduation of 100 youth, applauded Huawei for doing a great job on matters Digital trends.
“We are thankful to the partners we have; CFSK and Huawei, helping us bring connectivity across the country even to our youth,” he said.
According to Huawei, digital equity and workforce development are essential if everyone is to participate in the digital economy.
It further said that public-private partnerships have played a key role in bridging the digital divide therefore reducing the barriers of participation and entry for marginalized communities.
“In addition, the pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in our country with regard to technology and digital accessibility especially with the need to work remotely and access education online. The Huawei DigiTruck has given the beneficiaries the skills necessary to work remotely and has been able to operate in rural areas whilst strictly following COVID-19 protocols,” Huawei said in a statement.
Training on the truck is provided by Computers For Schools Kenya (CFSK) who provide a 20-40 hour course covering using computers; common document, spreadsheets and presentation software; smartphones and the internet, so that they can find jobs online, buy and sell products online, study online and take advantage of the Ajira platform.
The youth also learn about e-waste and being safe online. The Huawei DigiTruck is one aspect of Huawei’s digital skills training program that also includes programs training youth at Universities and TVETs nationwide.
Fiona Pan, who is the Deputy CEO of Public Affairs at Huawei Kenya, said that ICT is very critical and the fastest-growing part of the economy but that provision of technology on its own is not enough if people don’t know how to use it. Hence Huawei is helping provide digital skills all over the country, especially focused on rural areas.