Trade Ministry Partnership with Stanbic Foundation and Microsoft Kenya to Impart Entrepreneurs With Digital Skills

The Kenyan government, through the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, is preparing to impart digital skills to over 50,000 entrepreneurs. This is through a new collaboration with the Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft Kenya. 

This would be made possible through a collaboration signed between the Ministry and the Stanbic Kenya Foundation to boost the employability of MSMEs and Kenyan people through digital upskilling. 

Private sector players will be able to resolve a digital skills gap within the industry through a digital learning and training programme. The programme would target individuals who lost their employment during COVID-19.  

Programme roll-out 

The Ministry, its supporting state agencies, Stanbic and Microsoft will roll out the programme across the different counties. The roll out will see a total of 1,000 government employees upskilled and seconded as instructors to the program. The programme expects 2,000 youth to be placed into jobs by the end of 2021. 

The Kenyan Government and Private Sector

The Ministry is open to working with the private sector to strengthen the infrastructure for trading, close the gap in skills and increase opportunities that contribute to growth.

“The digital landscape is transforming rapidly, and Kenya must adapt to the new changes to keep the citizens employable. 

The Kenya Government believes technology will play a key role in transforming the economy and creating employment. In this regard, we welcome the private sector in supporting the government’s efforts to advance our digital strategy, particularly with regards to Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development. 

This partnership between the Ministry, Stanbic Bank Kenya and Microsoft will go along in enhancing the government’s investments in the capacity building and adoption of digital technologies which will give the country a competitive advantage.” Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development.

Experienced and Expected digital/tech impact

Over the next five years, the global labor market will require around 150 million new technology workers. This will have many other traditional/conventional jobs being tech-enabled. 

This effect would spread beyond the workforce. Consequently, having a structural impact on the capacity of corporations, industries, and even nations to adapt and recover effectively,

Several organizations and businesses are adapting to the already experienced changes. They are adapting their business models and moving to digital channels to remain linked with the market. This includes their customers and other main stakeholders in the face of COVID-19. 

In the near future, Kenya, like many other African economies, will witness a boom in digital skills. With the rising youth population, governments are turning to private sector players to help develop their capacity and help the economy recover from the pandemic’s effects.

Microsoft and Stanbic Bank

“At Microsoft, equipping citizens with adequate resources and technology so that they are able to upskill and re-skill has always been at the centre of our work. 

Particularly in the current landscape, securing partnerships with like-minded organisations such as Stanbic Bank Foundation and the Ministry.

These partnerships make complete sense if we are to reach and scale for maximum impact and successfully curb the impact of the pandemic. Addressing the growing skills gap within Kenya through both short- and longer-term initiatives such as this will continue ensuring that youth within the region are able to gain employment and address socio-economic issues at a grassroot level.”  Kendi Nderitu, Country Manager at Microsoft in Kenya.

“There is a great need to build the capacity of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises through training, coaching, and mentorship to enhance their survival rate, grow to large enterprises and to be more competitive. There is a great need for technical and soft skills development.” Ory Okolloh, Stanbic Kenya Foundation Chair.   

This digital initiative is set to be rolled out across the country in various counties with the training taking place in select institutions facilitated by the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development. 

Sourced from Capital Business