Chinese firm seeks to impart ICT skills to Kenyan slum dwellers
Updated: 2013-06-07 11:01
NAIROBI -- Chinese telecommunication firm Huawei on Thursday signed an agreement with SlumCode Group, an organization founded by youths to help them have access to information and digital literacy, to invest in skills transfer for youths in Kenya's slums.
The collaboration seeks to empower the youth and create a platform where they can explore their options and learn how to integrate ICT into their business to make it more efficient and create a competitive edge for their products and services.
"We believe in empowering the youth and creating an opportunity for them to grow as individuals and contribute to the development of this country," Huawei Kenya CEO Wind Li told journalists in Nairobi.
He added that in 2011, Huawei started the Telecom Seeds for the Future initiative, which bridges digital divide between the academia and industry and promotes local talent.
"We acknowledge the steps the government is taking to promote the Kenyan youth through various sectors," Li said.
According to latest statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya, the number of internet users in Kenya increased to 16.2 million in the period between October 1, 2012 and December 31 last year, representing a growth of 11.6 percent.
According to the CCK sector quarterly report, the number of Internet subscribers in the country rose from 8.5 million in the first quarter to 9.4 million by the end of December 2012, posting an increase of 11.5 percent.
The number of Internet subscribers increased by 75.1 percent compared to same period in the previous year. "Mobile data/ internet continued to dominate the Internet market contributing 99 percent of the total internet/data subscriptions in the country," said the report.
Both Huawei and SlumCode Group will build partnership throughout the year to encourage the youth to take up technology in their day-to-day business.
The partnership will see emerging Kenyan entrepreneurs transforming their business processes through ICT. The targeted youth are from universities, business schools, talented out of school youth, underprivileged but innovative and creative youth.
The selected youth will undergo wholistic three-month training in ICT for business, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, business law and life skills.
At the end of the three-month training the two organizations will hold the Grand Slumfest 7 ICT Summit where participants will be awarded.
In addition they will experience through expert speakers to inspire business processes for emerging enterprise in the procurement, human resource, supply chain, research, design and education, interactive showcase and networking space on smart technology and opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship.
"As Huawei Kenya continues to expand its market, the company will continue to support the ICT industry by bridging the digital divide between the industry and academia and promote local talent," Li said.