Cultural beliefs and norms have been cited as a hindrance to the girl child in Kilifi County from enrolling in the government sponsored Ajira Digital initiative.

This comes in the wake of efforts by the national and county governments and non-state actors to enable 70 percent of the youth population in the country to acquire digital skills as a way of tackling unemployment.

The programs manager for Ajira Digital in Kilifi County Francis Mwaro has urged the local communities to shun the archaic cultural beliefs and let their daughters embrace technology.

He said this in Watamu where he added that at least 3,500 youth and 25,000 across the county had been trained on digital literacy which was now helping them land online jobs.

At the same time, a local non-state actor, Power to Learn Program (PLP) has enrolled more than 500 youth in Kilifi County in the digital education program to help them grab opportunities from the digital space.

According to the PLP chief growth and operations manager Mrs Mumbi Ndung’u, the selected youth drawn from all the 35 wards in the county will undergo a four-month training on how to operate and explore the Internet for opportunities.

She added that Kilifi County was the first to partner with the organization in their quest to train at least 1 million software developers in Africa.

“The digital skills these youth will gain from the training will go a long way in unlocking the myriad opportunities and strength that they have been missing. It will also enable them to get employed or create employment,” she said.

Mohamed Almasi, one of the beneficiaries, was upbeat that the training will help him be digitally empowered and create employment through the Internet.

“We the youth have not exploited the digital world and hence we have missed out on opportunities that the Internet offers. I will take this chance to get more knowledge so that I can also enjoy the digital economy,” he said.

He added that many youths were unemployed since they depended on physical job opportunities yet the Internet offers various employment opportunities.

Governor Gideon Mung’aro encouraged the youth to explore the digital world to create wealth since the world had become a digital village.

“Most opportunities nowadays are run on the Internet and digital literacy is key to addressing the unemployment rate among our youthful population, he said.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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