Ruto launches digital jobs’ centre as government steps up investments in ICT

President William Ruto (centre), ICT CS Eliud Owalo (second left) and ICT PS John Tanui (right) among other dignitaries during the launch of Call Centre International at Tatu City in Kiambu County on Friday.

President William Ruto has said the government is enhancing ICT infrastructure to enable citizens and the country benefit from opportunities in the digital sector, including Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

The government’s investment in the sector includes the expansion of the national broadband network, setting up of digital hubs and provision of free public WiFi.

The goal of the investment is to create jobs for at least one million youths in the next five years.

“We are determined to claim our fair share of the BPO pie for the benefit of our young men and women who are eager to contribute to growing our economy,” President Ruto said as he officially commissioned the Call Centre International (CCI)at the Tatu City in Kiambu County.

He noted that Kenya’s strength lies in a large, skilled youthful workforce, government policies which give priority to the digital economy as a strategic pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda, an education system that stresses digital skills, a strategic geographical location aligning with global time zones and proficiency in English, which is widely used in major economies.

The BPO facility has employed about 5,000 youths in the digital space and brings opportunities for partnership with the government in the roll out of digital hubs in the villages.

Kenyan workers at Call Centre International at Tatu City in Kiambu County on Friday. President William Ruto launched the centre on Friday.Present were Cabinet Secretaries Rebecca Miano (Trade) and Eliud Owalo (ICT), Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi and US Ambassador Meg Whitman, among others.

The President said the government is strengthening existing laws to create a conducive environment for the ICT-BPO industry to thrive.

“Our goal is to develop sector-specific legislations that align with international standards in the short, medium and long term,” he said.

The efforts in strengthening the sector, President Ruto explained, include enforcing BPO standards that meet international best practices, updating fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to keep pace with technological advancements and investing in green energy.

“These efforts demonstrate our commitment to fostering a thriving, sustainable and globally competitive BPO sector in Kenya,” he said.

The President appealed to investors to collaborate with the government in its digital hubs programme for BPO operations to succeed and expand.

Mr Owalo said the opportunities available for youth in the digital space are enormous, and the prospects for the gig economy are within reach.

Over 140,000 youths trained by the government are earnings meaningful income from digital jobs, according to the ICT Ministry.

President William Ruto (centre), ICT CS Eliud Owalo (second right), National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa (second left) and Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi (left) among other leaders and dignitaries during the launch of Call Centre International BPO at Tatu City in the county on Friday.
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