Kenya is ready and committed to fully invest in the digital employability space.
This was alluded to by the Principal Secretary Labor and skills development Hon Geoffrey Kaituko.
“Unemployment is a key challenge in our country. This is despite Kenya having a large pool of skilled and educated workers where close to 1 million graduates join the job market every year.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the number of Kenyans without jobs increased to 2.97 million in the year 2022 underscoring the labour market woes in the wake of postCovid recovery, elevated inflation and reduced activity in the dominant agricultural sector. Kenyan youths are the hardest hit by unemployment despite the majority of the Kenyan population indeed comprising of the youth.
The Government, in partnership with like-minded organizations, continues to invest in favourable policies, programs, initiatives and other supporting activities to address this unemployment challenge in the country.
The Ajira Digital Program is an example of such initiatives by the Government to address the youth unemployment issues through digital and digitally-enabled work opportunities offered through both local and international employers.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The digital economy has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors in Kenya driven by expanding ICT infrastructure and increased access to internet connectivity.
According to a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya, the number of internet users in Kenya increased by 7.5% to reach 47.6 million in 2020 while a study commissioned by the Ajira Digital Program in 2022 reported that there were 1.9 million people working in digital and digitally-enabled jobs, up from 638,000 in 2019.
The World Bank reports that the digital economy in Kenya is expected to grow to $23 billion by 2025, thereby creating thousands of new jobs.
However, even with the evolving work, workforce, workplace, and work management, there is a need to be cognizant of the implications of this digital revolution and what it portends for all actors, both in the public and private sectors. Digital technologies do not simply affect the volume of jobs, they also transform the way work is conceptualized and how people perform their jobs.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), digital jobs refer to all work that uses, or is made possible by, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Digital jobs include careers within the ICT industry, as well as a wide variety of jobs outside the ICT industry that rely on digital skills and take advantage of digital technologies.
The digital workforce represents a group of individuals that are influenced by new digital technologies affecting their attitudes, competencies and actions. They are mainly characterized by the prevalence of independent, temporary work that is conducted on a short-term or task-by-task basis where payment is received upon completion of these tasks.
Digitalization of the labour market offers rich opportunities such as productivity growth, new market opportunities, new jobs, greater work-life balance, and higher pay. However, it also brings important challenges that cannot be ignored. “