Huawei’s DigiTruck that launched last year has marked its 1-year anniversary by achieving the milestone of training more than 1,500 youth across 13 locations in 8 counties.
The announcement was made as 100 students graduated from the DigiTruck’s latest training of 100 students in Nyeri County at a ceremony graced by Cabinet Secretary, ICT, Nyeri Governor, and other dignitaries.
Marking DigiTruck’s 1-year anniversary, the recent batch of 100 students successfully completed four weeks of training where they gathered various skills including, but not limited to digital skills, entrepreneurship, marketing, and the ability to work online using the skills acquired.
The graduation was attended by Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs; Mutahi Kahiga, Governor of Nyeri County; Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO, Huawei Kenya, Kanini Kega, Kieni constituency MP, Julius Korir, Principal Secretary for Youth Affairs; and Roy Sasaka, CEO of National Youth Council.
Digital equity and workforce development are essential if everyone is to participate in the digital economy. Public-private partnerships have played a key role in bridging the digital divide therefore reducing the barriers of participation and entry for marginalized communities.
In addition, the pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in our country with regard to technology and digital accessibility especially with the need to work remotely and access education online. The Huawei DigiTruck has given the beneficiaries the skills necessary to work remotely.
“We are thankful to the partners we have; CFSK and Huawei, helping us bring connectivity across the country even to our youth.” CS Joe Mucheru. He proceeded to thank Huawei and the National Youth Council for making sure the youth in Nyeri County and across Kenya received digital skills training.
The DigiTruck is a solar-powered mobile classroom equipped with internet and smart devices. The DigiTruck is supported by various partners including the National Youth Council, UNESCO, GSMA, and Safaricom, and contributes to the government’s Ajira initiative by enabling youth in rural areas to get the digital skills they need to thrive in society and the world of work.
Training on the truck is provided by Computers For Schools Kenya (CFSK) who provide a 20-40 hour course covering using computers; common document, spreadsheets and presentation software; smartphones, and the internet, so that they can find jobs online, buy and sell products online, study online and take advantage of the Ajira platform. They also learn about e-waste and being safe online. The Huawei DigiTruck is one aspect of Huawei’s digital skills training program that also includes programs training youth at Universities and TVETs nationwide.
PS Dr. Julius Korir, Principle Secretary, Youth Affairs said that the government joined hands with Huawei to work together on their CSR program, the DigiTruck. “Now we have trained over 1,500 youth across different counties through the DigiTruck,” he added.
Fiona Pan reiterated that ICT is critical and the fastest-growing part of the economy and provision of technology on its own is not enough if people don’t know how to use it.
Huawei Digitruck is a program under Huawei Tech4all, a digital inclusion initiative focusing on three main areas namely technology, application, and skills to empower people and organizations across the globe. The DigiTruck has been moving around the country providing digital skills.
Despite a 3-month pause when the pandemic first broke, the DigiTruck resumed operations again in line with government health protocols. In its first year of operations, the DigiTruck has provided over 22,000 hours of training for youth in Bomet, Embu, Kericho, Laikipia, Machakos, Meru, Nandi, and now Nyeri so far. Huawei has recently committed to continue supporting the DigiTruck in 2021 to reach more youth in more Counties.