•With over 75% population being 35 years or younger, this dynamic demographic represents not only the country’s future but also a tremendous opportunity for growth.
•Back in 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization ranked Kenya as the second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa.
In a world hungry for technological innovation, there’s one country that has emerged as a true powerhouse: Kenya.
With a youthful population accounting for a staggering 75 percent of its 47.6 million people, this East African nation is bursting with potential.
But what sets Kenya apart from the rest? The answer lies in its remarkable ability to transform dreams into reality, making it a magnet for tech investors seeking the next big thing.
A Vision Turned Reality: Kenya’s digital transformation is no mere fantasy.
Anchored by a robust institutional framework, the government, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, eMobilis Technology Training Institute and Kenya Private Sector Alliance, continue to implement the ground-breaking Ajira Digital Program.
This initiative aims to annually enable one million young women and men to access digital and digitally-enabled jobs.
By expanding digital outsourcing, digitizing private and public sector processes, and nurturing top-rated freelancing talent, Kenya is positioning itself as the go-to labour destination for multinational companies and a global freelancing powerhouse.
The digital economy size for Kenya continues to expand based on the 2022 report by TIFA commissioned by Ajira which shows the over 1.9 million people are working online.
Kenya’s Youth Bulge:
A Gateway to Prosperity: The statistics don’t lie – Kenya’s vibrant youth bulge is a game-changer.
With over 75% population being 35 years or younger, this dynamic demographic represents not only the country’s future but also a tremendous opportunity for growth.
Recognizing this untapped potential, the Kenyan government has prioritized empowering the younger generation with essential work-readiness skills through programs like Ajira Digital.
The aim? To unlock their full potential and propel the nation forward.
Meg Whitman, the US Ambassador to Kenya, recently addressed the American Chamber of Commerce Business Summit in Nairobi, highlighting Africa’s vast emerging market.
She asserted that Kenya, with its stable democracy and strategic location as a gateway to East Africa, offers unprecedented opportunities for supply chain expansion and access to nearly 500 million consumers.
In fact, Kenya has firmly established itself as the regional business, finance, and investment hub, attracting foreign direct investments and venture capital like never before. It’s no wonder that Kenya has earned the moniker “Silicon Savannah.”
Back in 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization ranked Kenya as the second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa.
Research by Statista also showed that out of the about 600 Innovation hubs in Africa, 50 of them are in Kenya.
The country’s trailblazing spirit was epitomized by the ground-breaking mobile payment system, M-Pesa, which revolutionized financial services and boosted financial inclusion.
Additionally, multinational giants such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, Visa, and IBM have all recognized Kenya’s innovative culture and tapped into its young, tech-savvy population.
The ripple effects? Job creation, a powerful driver of economic growth. Furthermore, the young people continue to leverage the 260 Ajira Youth Empowerment Centres (AYECs) across the country which act as Incubation Hubs with Free Training and mentorship to access Free digital tools like the internet, Computers and working space to work, earn and advance their innovations.
A Skilled Workforce: bridging the tech divide:
Kenya’s success story would be incomplete without its highly skilled workforce. With a high literacy rate and a multitude of graduates in business, IT, Finance, and Engineering, Kenya prides in professionals renowned for their adaptability, language proficiency, and strong work ethics.
Government Programs like Ajira Digital, Jitume, and Digital Literacy program, have further nurtured the talent pool, ensuring a steady supply of skilled graduates to drive the work local and global economy.
Besides the government programs, private sector and social enterprise organizations like eMobilis Technology Training Institute also continue to catapult the development of technology work-readiness skills such as cyber security, Software development, Data science among others.
To date, over 250,000 young people have been equipped with free Ajira Digital Work readiness skills, 33% of which are earning from Digital and digitally enabled jobs. Additionally, over 400 young people have successfully graduated with AWS Cloud Architect Certification with 55% of them working either for local or international companies.
The AWS re/Strat is a free program under the Ajira Digital program in partnership with AWS and eMobilis which targets to equip the unemployed or under-employed youth with cloud computing skills.
Paving the Path to Success: While Kenya’s entrepreneurial spirit is palpable, it’s the government’s proactive approach that truly sets the stage for success.
Initiatives like the National ICT Master Plan, Start-up Act, Data Protection Act, Digital Economy Blueprint, and Vision 2030 have laid out clear goals for developing the country’s ICT infrastructure and digital economy.
Moreover, the government has implemented attractive policies to entice foreign direct investment, including tax incentives and streamlined business registration processes.
President Ruto’s unwavering commitment to transforming Kenya into an ICT innovation hub further underscores the nation’s determination to unlock its full potential.
Kenya’s rise as Africa’s Silicon Savannah has positioned it as a magnet for global tech investors. With a dynamic youth bulge, a supportive government, and a thriving ecosystem of innovation, Kenya offers an enticing landscape for those seeking to tap into its untapped potential.
The country’s digital transformation agenda, coupled with its skilled workforce, growing internet penetration, and regional connectivity, has made Kenya an appealing destination for technology investments.
As the nation embraces the challenges and triumphs of the future, Kenya stands as a testament to the power of technology to drive economic growth, transform societies, and unlock a world of possibilities.
The stage is set, and Kenya beckons the world to join its tech revolution and be part of the remarkable journey toward a brighter tomorrow.