by Mathew Ndeti
The government is keen on positioning Kenya as a key choice for labour destination in the digital space for multinational companies.
Speaking today during the Kenya Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector leaders’ roundtable held in Nairobi, State Department of ICT and the Digital Economy (ICT&DE) Secretary Administration Mr. Mohammed Jabane, said approximately 89% of youths are highly literate and need employment opportunities.
“We do recognise that the amount of domestic sourcing work for BPOs is insufficient to absorb the pool of digital workers we have in this country.”
“Based on the national study done in 2022, 1.9 million freelancers are available for digital work. The opportunity lies in offshore outsourcing for these freelancers. We hope to partner with both the public and private sectors to employ our youth,” he said.
Mr. Jabane said that the government has collaborated with the National Constituency Development Fund to provide Constituency Innovation Hubs across all the constituencies in the country.
Noting that the government wants to scale up the Ajira Digital programme with the Constituency Innovation Hubs to enable transfer of digital skills and create more employment opportunities.
“We hope to merge the efforts of Ajira Youth Empowerment Centers with the Constituency Innovation Hubs in a bid to train, mentor our youth and enable them move to the digital space and get employment,” he said.
He stated that the government is planning to support user-friendly policies for surveillance of emerging technologies: “We hope to form a taskforce very soon in collaboration with our partners, so as to make draft regulation in tandem with the emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
Mr. Mohamed stated that ICT has contributed exceptionally to the improvement in e-government services, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, digital skills and enhancing market competitiveness of the nation’s products and services.
He commended the BPOs Sector Leaders’ round table hosted by Ajira Digital Program, with an aim to discuss and understand the current landscape and BPO environment in Kenya, policy regulation and government support to ensure that BPOs are competitive locally and internationally.
On his part, the Project Director of Ajira Digital Project at Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Dr. Ehud Gachugu noted that the labour markets are converging and there are significant shifts emerging accordingly.
He advised businesses to adopt the outsourcing model: “Research shows that businesses in the West can save up to 70% of their costs by just adopting outsourcing and this drive around outsourcing is a factor of many developments.”
Mr. Gachugu emphasised on the importance of supporting and structuring the BPO sector in a bid to develop resilience to withstand the shocks in the economy.
He reiterated the importance of adopting unique strategies as BPOs advance and contribute to economic development.
The BPO Sectors leaders’ roundtable attracted stakeholders from the public and the private sectors.