Kenya Government through the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development is gearing up to impart digital skills to over 50,000 entrepreneurs in a new partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft Kenya. This will be made possible through a partnership signed between the Ministry and Stanbic Kenya Foundation to enhance the employability of MSMEs and Kenyan citizens through digital upskilling.
The partnership will see private sector players address a digital skills gap within the market through the rich digital learning and skilling Initiative. The programme will target individuals who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 economic downturn that led to numerous job losses in the country. Stanbic bank and Microsoft Kenya will roll out the programme across the various counties in Kenya with support from the Ministry and its supporting state agencies that will see a total of 1,000 government employees upskilled and seconded to the program as instructors. The program expects to place 2,000 youth into employment by the end of 2021.
The global labour market will need around 150 million new tech jobs over the next five years, with many other traditional jobs becoming tech-enabled. Collective action must be taken right away to stem the employment impacts of the pandemic or further social and economic disparity, coupled with an ever-widened skilling gap will be experienced. This impact will stretch beyond the workforce, creating a systemic effect on the ability of companies, industries, and even countries to effectively respond and recover, let alone reimagine their economy in a post-pandemic world.
In the advent of COVID-19, several institutions and organizations are changing their business models and turning to digital platforms to stay connected with their customers and other key stakeholders. COVID-19 has also led to job losses and the need for people to re-toll. This digital initiative is set to be rolled out across the country in various counties with the training taking place in select institutions facilitated by the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.
Kenya, like many other African economies, will experience a surge in digital skills in the near future. With the growing youth population, governments are turning towards private sector players to support in building their capacity and contributing towards helping the economy recover from the impact caused by the pandemic.
The partnership serves as a demonstration of the role that private sector players can have in driving economic growth by partnering with government institutions in their efforts in building the capacity of the nation.