Government opens ICT hub in Kiambu
- Establishment of the ICT hub is a fulfillment of an earlier promise by the government at the beginning of the year.
- The ICT hub will help alleviate unemployment in the county
Residents of Githunguri Sub County have a reason to smile following the handing over of an ICT innovation hub at Ikinu PCEA church.
The ICT hub handed over by the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo, will benefit the youth and community in the area.
In January this year, the government promised to establish a digital hub in each of Kenya’s 1,450 wards in an ambitious project to spur digital trade.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at the Ikinu PCEA church, CS Owalo said the hubs would complement the government’s agenda to revolutionize business operations using technology.
The CS noted that the government was committed to providing equal and quality public service technology using digital technology to all citizens.
“We want to address the situation of high unemployment amongst the youth in the country by rolling out 1450 digital hubs in the villages, where the youth can be trained to acquire the requisite ICT skills, as well as installing 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.
“The government has prioritized the integration of ICT into the national development agenda in line with global commitment, and ICT is not just an enabler but also an economic accelerator, especially for the unemployed youth”, he said.
The government target, through the ministry of ICT and digital economy, is planning to digitize 5000 government services by June this year but is currently at 4000, Owalo said.
Kenya, he explained, cannot be left behind, and therefore, through the hubs spread across the country, the youth can also get opportunities online and in the digital space, promising that the government will ensure to link the youth who are tech-savvy with technology firms for employment.
“Through technology, the ICT sector has the potential for the young people to earn as much as Sh 200,000 salary and through this, they in turn can be able to help in the family,” the CS said, promising to add another 30 computers to the 10 desktops and five laptops that are available in the Ikinu PCEA church hub.
The ICT Authority CEO, Stanley Kamanguya, said they have identified 4,000 km of fibre and people can now take advantage of the digital hubs.
He urged the youth to take advantage of the hub in terms of training and also challenged them to ensure that they also train their elderly, considering government services will soon go digital.
Kiambu County Executive Committee member in charge of ICT and finance, David Kuria, who was representing Governor Kimani Wamatangi, lauded the move by the national government, saying the project will go a long way in benefiting both the students and the community at large.
He said that partnering with the county and churches has come at the right time as it will ensure rapid development for the youth.
“60 percent of the young people are unemployed, and most are engaging in drug abuse, hindering productivity. Through the hubs, there will be the creation of not only jobs, but our youth will not be idle,” he said.
Kuria committed that the county governments would also join in and replicate the same innovation hubs in other areas of the county.
In the run-up to the 2022 elections, the Kenya Kwanza team under President Dr. William Ruto featured ICT among the five key result areas that they will prioritize as an enabler and a critical success factor to drive the economy.
To realize the potential of the sector, the government, through the ICT ministry, has committed to implementing the Kenya National Digital Masterplan 2022–32, which has five key pillars to drive the digital transformation agenda.
They are digital infrastructure, digital services and data management, digital skills, digital entrepreneurship, and effective alignment with policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks.