An initiative to equip over 50,000 owners of Micro Small Enterprises (MSEs) with the relevant digital skills by the end of this year has kicked off in Nairobi, targeting to be expanded to multiple counties across the country.
The digital skilling initiative dubbed Future Ni Digital is part of the digital program that was launched earlier this year with the key private sector players and government. These partners include the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED), the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies and the African Center for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT).
Speaking at the Kariobangi Center of Excellence during the start of the training, the Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mr. Lawrence Karanja applauded the partners for supporting the government in its efforts to promote digital technologies and ICT as a way of creating employment opportunities and improving on public service delivery. The program expects to place 2,000 youth into employment by the end of 2021.
The Future Ni Digital initiative will offer online digital entrepreneurial skillsto assist these MSEs to expand and grow their businesses in the ever-changing digital market. As part of this, 192 trainers have already undergone the requisite training in a bid to kick off the mass training of the entrepreneurs. Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft Kenya have also deployed an online learning platform to enable learners to access content and further develop their skills.
The trainers are drawn from the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), the Kenya Industrial Business Training, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties as well as County Industrial Development Officers from around the country. In total, over 1,000 trainers from different government agencies will be trained to become instructors who will then engage with the various MSE’s and upskill them on how to leverage on online and digital platforms to grow their businesses.
Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya, Kendi Ntwiga said the organization’s involvement in the initiative stems from its mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
“Microsoft has operated in Africa for close to 30 years. In that time, we’ve built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity, capability, and we are working to assist the continent to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact,” Kendi said. “It also represents our desire to support the Kenyan talent create innovative solutions for local and global impact while also addressing the existing gap in some of the required digital skills for the new age.”Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya, Kendi Ntwiga
MSE’s contribution significantly to economic growth of the country, yet a number of them are still struggling to survive. The digital skilling program aims to address this gap by providing individuals with access to and knowledge of innovate tools for their sustainable development and equal opportunities.