Youth in Tana Delta will now be able to acquire and upgrade their skills in various aspects of technology following the launch of the first digital village hub in the region, dubbed Life Legacy. The project supported by Paradigm Initiative in partnership with Amani Centre has rolled out a pilot programme that will see more than 20 students from poor families equipped with digital skills. According to Paradigm Initiative Programme Officer Miriam Beatrice, the idea is an integrated development vision that enshrines the digitalization of the core of rural transformation and prosperity to address socio-economic elements. 'Our main focus is to address the problem of poverty and unemployment using IT as a source of self-employment, and with this, we target the underprivileged,' she said. According to Ms. Beatrice, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics places Tana River County among the underserved communities, with an illiteracy level of more than 69 per cent, a poverty rate of 76.1 per cent, and a digital literacy rate of less than five per cent, hence appropriate for the programme. She notes that the programme, which shall be running for ten weeks, would seek to equip the selected students with skills in digital marketing, digital entrepreneurship, App development, and life skills to manoeuvre the digital space. 'There is a lot that Kenya needs that requires digital solutions. Consequently, ours is to ensure that these chosen few become the solution to rural transformation through developing quick digital solutions to complex issues in society,' she said. Amani Centre Managing Director John Green termed the project a dream come true, as it is in keeping with the direction the world is taking. Mr. Green reiterates the need for the youth in the county to embrace the acquisition of knowledge in the currently transforming phase of technology. 'The world has shifted from institutional employment to self-employment, and the biggest investment is in ICT know-how, which we believe the underserved communities need,' he said. He notes that the world is headed towards e-health, e-education, and tourism, all of which are bolstered by digital technology. He has challenged girls in the county who dropped out after class eight and those who have not managed to go beyond secondary school to take advantage of the free window to acquire some digital skills. 'This idea is not limited to learned people; all it needs is someone with an interest who is determined to become something in life. This is your chance to stand out and make a name for yourself in this county,' he said. The youth in the county have expressed delight in the project and are buoyant that it will equip them with the necessary digital skills to trade for cash in the massive digital world. 'I look forward to starting my cyber security firm by the time I am finished with this programme. If I have to learn more, then I will pursue that knowledge, but this is where it begins for me,' said Regina Madubi, a student. Madina Hamza, however, is determined to develop a proper application that will function as an e-market for agricultural products across the Tana River villages, where farmers and buyers could engage and negotiate freely.
Source: Kenya News Agency