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Ajira Digital – Tackling The Youth Unemployment Problem In Kenya

by Femme Staff
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The digital economy is opening up at a very high rate both in the country and globally and bringing opportunities with it. Take the Ajira Digital program for example – a program that seeks to empower over one million young people through training so that they can get employment through the various digital platforms such as essay writing, transcribing, research etc.

There are many success stories to the program, and today we would like hear the story of one of them. Her name is Hottensia Njoroge and here is her Ajira success story.

What is the Ajira program?

It is a government initiative driven by the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities.

How did you hear of Ajira and why did you decide to join?

Heard about Ajira from a friend and joined since it had what I always wanted to achieve; digital marketing.

When were you trained? How long did the program/training take?

September 2020. It took a whole month.

From your training, how did you utilize the skills you learnt? How exactly has Ajira helped her business?

I was in a good position to create my own business card and do digital marketing for various companies and upcoming podcasts and events companies. It has helped me deeply in that I gained the necessary knowledge and skills needed in marketing a business and reach its target audience.

How did you become an online worker? Is it before or after the Ajira training?

It was after Ajira. My interest was provoked during one of the sessions we had on online work platforms introduction. This was my first time to know about these platforms.

Tell us about your business

I am digital Marketer. I help businesses to reach their target audiences and introduce & convince them to try out their products and services. I help businesses to plan digital marketing campaigns (including web, SEO/SEM, email, social media and display advertising), maintain social media presence across all digital channels and measure and report on the performance of all digital marketing campaigns.

Since I started, I have supported the Opening of a ladies’ bag shop and is currently working on opening a baby shop.

Does income earned through online work enough to sustain a living? On average how much does online work pay?  (Weekly, monthly)

Like any other, Online work pays and allows a person to grow in the field as they gain experience and network with new clients over time.

According to a recent survey, of the 67% who have started bidding on online work platform, 49 % have won bids and started earning from online work. The earnings made from the individual won bids ranged between $10 to $ 320, while the cumulative earnings reported by the mentees earning from the different online work platforms during the one-month mentorship has surpassed $100,000; all being positive outcome of the Program as evidenced by the success stories from the Program beneficiaries.

A 3 months’ contract brings an average of 50-100K.

What are your plans for the future?

To open a PR firm which will deal more on digital marketing and advertising.

What is the future of online business in Kenya?

Successful since most youths have figured the secret and are willing to go an extra mile.

With the trends moving to remote work/online jobs, how can a young person with skills such as plumber, tailoring, music etc. make use of the digital space -Ajira initiative?

Ajira will train them on how to use the digital space to market their products. Depending on the work they do, they will be advised on the best digital platform to use. Example, YouTube and Tiktok would be great for a Music artist while Facebook and Instagram would be perfect to market designs by a tailor. Digital marketing techniques will help them specify their target audience and promote the reach and engagement of their posts. This will in turn, broaden their market and increase their turn on investments.

What is your message to other youths in the country pertaining joining Ajira and making use of the digital work platforms?

Online work is gaining grounds in Kenya and is estimated to grow even further due to efforts by the Ministry of ICT and partnerships with corporates in the country. While making the announcement at the ongoing Connected Summit 2017, Cabinet Secretary (MoICT) Joe Mucheru said the overall objective of the project is to make Kenya a freelance hub and the global destination for online work by the year 2022. The Ajira Digital Project seeks to position Kenya as a choice of labor destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and the public sector to create digital work.

I invite my fellow youths to move with the flow and enjoy the opportunity to work, earn and advance their lives.

Take that risk-get out of the comfort zone and network with the right people to get to the right place. Remember that opportunity knocks once.

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