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Ajira Digital: What You Need to Know

News Team

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With the advent of technology and the internet, there has been an increasing utilization of online digital platforms to sell their goods and services. In line with this, the Government of Kenya, under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology launched Ajira Digital on the 24th of November 2016.

About Ajira Digital

The main aim of the initiative is to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities. It also seeks to bridge the gap between skills demand and the lack of jobs among the youth.

The program seeks to position Kenya as a choice labor destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and the public sector to create digital work. The government digitization projects already create lots of viable micro work that can be completed by digital workers.

The main objectives of the program are:

  • To raise the profile of digital work among all Kenyans
  • Promote a mentorship and collaborative learning approach to finding digital work
  • Provide Kenyans with access to digital work
  • Promote Kenya as a destination for online workers

The guiding principles of the Ajira Digital Program are:

  • Private sector first – value generation through the private sector
  • Sustainability – orchestrate the ecosystem to self-regulate and grow organically
  • Eliminate brokers – generating more value to the youth
  • Promote the domestic economy – the realization of a knowledge economy

The components of the Ajira digital program have been designed to address the main challenges that hinder the youth from benefiting from digital job opportunities. They are:

  • Access to dignified work – growing the local demand, Government becoming an anchor client and positioning Kenya as a choice labor destination for multinationals globally
  • Education and skills for the dynamic, always changing online jobs
  • Access to infrastructure – Innovation Hubs, Kazi Connect Centers, Studio Mashinani, Y254 TV Channel
  • Awareness – Building trust and confidence

Key Project Interventions

  1. Training

The project targets to train youth (inexperienced (new) online workers) through a one-week residential training. The training aims to equip the youth with basic soft skills and introduction to online work skills, digital marketing, and basic financial management skills across five implementation locations in Kenya namely: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Meru, and Nakuru.

In addition, the project targets to train experienced online work freelancers through a 2-day training with the aim of equipping the selected online work freelancers with skills to scale up and develop their businesses into agencies and source for more work to share with new online workers. The experienced freelancers are ultimately expected to handhold the new online workers through one-month mentorship.

  1. Mentorship

Upon successful completion of the training, the participants are transitioned to one-month mentorship through handholding by the experienced freelancers. The mentorship is aimed at enhancing the trained youth’s skills on online work thereby increasing their access to online jobs.

How to Join Ajira Digital Kenya for Training

Ajira Kenya carries out ongoing training and mentorship and offers guidance on how to work online in Kenya. Spaces are limited so you have to book early. Training is offered on a first come, first served basis.

To Register for Ajira training, visit official Ajira Digital website and enroll. You will then receive an email with your booking information. Print the details as you will need to present them in order to be allowed to attend any training sessions. After registration, you will be notified via email when Ajira training sessions are available in your County.

The training, which is free of charge, lasts one week after which one is given a certificate. The requirements are simple; a personal computer, internet connection, and basic computer skills.

Pros of Ajira Digital

  • Increased awareness of online jobs in Kenya
  • Training and mentorship are offered free of charge, helping those who would otherwise have been unable to pay.
  • Possible provision of tools of trade such as easy access to computers and the internet for the disadvantaged.
  • The admin keeps editing the site regularly since its creation to weed out possible bugs.
  • Thought leaders and entrepreneurs may come up with splendid online solutions due to the fact that it will give rise to increased competition.

Cons of Ajira Digital

  • It may lead to a decline in the price of doing business and possibly mess up existing struggling online workers as there will be many workers but few or no jobs.
  • The site only provides links to a few sites that existing online workers already know, which is nothing new.
  • Their current model makes the goal of creating one million jobs is unrealistic. This is because the 1 million people targeted will need access to computers and the internet, which are still very expensive to low-income earners. Some parts of Kenya are also not connected to electricity, let alone high-speed internet connectivity. They will also need daily jobs to sustain themselves.
  • Creation of jobs does not happen on the site. People are simply directed to sites that may or may not give the perceived results.
  • The possibility of Ajira Digital becoming obsolete and forgotten after many young Kenyans join all these sites and don’t get the intended results leading to high chances that they will quit online work.

Available jobs

Ajira digital online offers different type of jobs for different professions including:

  • Transcription
  • Writing
  • Sales and marketing
  • Software development/programming
  • Data science and analytics
  • Engineering and architecture
  • Support and customer service
  • Web design/graphics and creative design

Ajira digital ensures that they provide genuine and trusted websites that are currently looking for online workers. They, however, advise workers to do thorough research on the available websites to avoid unscrupulous websites on the internet.

Ajira digital program contacts and office locations

Physical location

Ajira Digital Offices: 10th floor, Teleposta Towers, 29 Kenyatta Ave, Nairobi

Mobile contacts: +254 20 4920000/1

Email: ajira@ict.go.ke

Twitter: @AjiraDigital

Facebook: Ajira Digital

Website: Ajiradigital

Conclusion

Ajira Digital is a good initiative from the government. However, the government needs to improve it and find ways to link young people using the platform directly to jobs. Entrepreneurs creating online businesses would also be of great benefit to the program. They would create the jobs needed to sustain these youths as they look for work online.

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Some Practical Thoughts on Depression, How I Walked Out: Personal Story

Kimani Patrick

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On this post I’m talking about my personal story on depression, and how I managed to overcome. Republished from 9th Sep 2018

Let’s get started,

Severe depression. That was the results.

And the truth is, I never chose to get depressed and I can’t wish anyone to get where I am or where I have been.

But you’re a very strong guy Mr. KP, that’s what most will say. Allow me say this, the belief that depression is a sign of weakness is a harmful misconception. If you think about it, it doesn’t make much logical sense. 😕

Mind you, it takes a lot of courage to accept even to yourself the fact that you’re struggling and even go ahead to seek help or share with someone.

For those of you who haven’t experienced either depression or anxiety, I urge you to realize that when a person talks to you about their anxieties or their depression that they are actually confiding in you. Listen to them without judging 😒

That’s the best thing you can do: listen. And it is not a one-day affair, it can take a few hours, a few days, weeks, months or even years. Thanks to friends who listened to me all through – consistent and never judging. You’ve listened to me and cared all through. I sincerely value you 🙏🏾

Friends, depression & anxiety are illnesses too. The sad part is it is so hard for one to know they are suffering. It took me more than a year. Sometimes there is a cure, sometimes there is only treatment. It is so similar to physical illnesses and injuries, yet no one will tell you to just snap out of a coma or asks if you’ve tried not having the flu. Just because I’ve been depressed does not mean I have been lazy, and the reason for an anxiety attack cannot always be explained. 🙆🏾‍

Today I’m better because I’ve risen above what has been tormenting me or at least I’ve found a workable solution. I had to deliberately put this cycle to an end, and it was not something that I was to do in the future – the journey has started.

But I’m bitter too 😒😒

To help you understand, let me share a personal story.
👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

Back 14 months ago when I learned that things were getting out of hand, I resigned from church leadership and all committees that I had membership. Everyone thought the reason was for me to concentrate on business, it wasn’t. But somehow, I used it as an excuse🏾‍😢. I said everything was okay, I lied 😩😩

After that resignation, next point was to dig valleys and started to reside in them. All this was not subconsciously done. It reached a point where I became so unworthy and unfit & had to stop attending Sunday services. I literary avoided my church friends. For a period of about 7 months, almost everyone I met talked of how “lost” I have been not asking why. And next instant question was how business was doing, Inversk. See, people are only concerned about what you do and never about you 😭

For all that time,, only two people reached out and sincerely asked about my spiritual health. This is despite having hundreds of church friends. Friends whom we lead and fellowshipped together. Including reverends. Everyone was concerned about how’s Inversk was doing.

See, I introduced Inversk to my friends and they fell so much in love with it that they forgot about me 😢. Each time we meet, it was a time for me to share a brief.

That’s why I hate titles, I hate being referred by any title – Founder, CEO or whatever, all that is meaningless. Titles don’t produce value and I’ not always what I do. Just call me Kim and I’ll be good. At least that’s the name my mum and dad gave me.

I also regret going to the media. The media puts so much high standards for you so that everyone believes you are indomitable. Every young entrepreneur will agree to this. It is good for business but extremely bad for personal health.

And that on friends, is one of the dangers of building a business in public. I don’t regret it though👌🏾

Things have been so tough, tight and thin. To some point I thought I was insane 🤦🏾‍♂ But its extremely good to be on the trenches and hit the rock bottom. Because today, right now, I can feel my real self. The real Kimani Patrick is back. 😇

But before this moment,, I’ve been so lost, hurt and insecure. And during all these, I did hurt so many of my friends and family.

So how have I decided to overcome this?

#First:
I had to reconnect with myself. I have had to ask for forgiveness from myself. That sounds crazy but I needed it. Friends,, I had to confess to myself all the wrong decisions that I’ve done and ask for forgiveness. And I had to forgive myself unconditionally.
👌🏾

#Second:
Reconnecting with God. He is my creator and He owns me. I had to ask for deliverance from all bad things and restoration of the lost love I had for my creator. And I have submitted afresh to Him. So when I say I’ve let God rule my life, it means I have given Him the control to every thing in my life 🙏🏾

#Third:
Starting on a new journey. This one entails re-configuring my lost hopes and aspirations and speaking life to my own being. It means thinking beyond myself, believing myself once again and getting clear about my purpose, vision, mission, goals, aspirations, expectations and daily activities. Its about getting clear about my priorities on a daily basis.🙏🏾

#Fourth:
No one achieves anything alone. Building bridges. Fourth thing is about making a bold and deliberate decision to build bridges. Each day, I am and will continue reaching out and reconnecting with everyone in my life that I’ve had a difference, misunderstanding or unaccomplished transaction. This is the hardest of all decisions. I need grace, patience and complete resilience to accomplish this.

But God is on my side 😇

Winding up:
Friends, trust me when I say that no one can ever criticize a person with anxiety or depression more harshly than they criticize themselves. I’ve done all that and for close to two years I’ve been my own worst critique.

And if you are one of the millions of people who feel lost because of depression or anxiety, know that the unexplained loneliness you feel doesn’t mean that you are alone – you are unique in how you feel. Seek help, it is not for the weak.

Jesus is also calling you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Mathew 11:28-30

And if you read this to the end, don’t be sympathetic about my situation. That was then and this is now, I’m great and in need of no consolation. Also don’t call or DM showing that you care, I don’t need that!!

Here’s what I suggest, take a reality check on your own life, are you happy? 😇

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Go For Gold: Lessons From Chris Kirubi

Inversk Review

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As an entrepreneur, you have to pursue and attempt to achieve the very best possible outcome or reward from the same activity, task or endeavor. Below is advice transcribed from a few of Chris Kirubi’s #AskKirubi show.

Gold is very symbolic to mean the fine things in life. You don’t find gold all around you, but you find at least somewhere close to you. Very scarce indeed. Does that mean it is not meant for everyone? It’s all in your mind. Reach out for the best possible solutions. Reach out for the biggest venture. Reach out for the biggest investment.

Gold is a great reward. Great things don’t come easy. You will struggle to get to it, but the fruits will be there. To be the best, you have to effect change. Don’t be afraid to effect the change. Within our comfort zones, we as entrepreneurs might feel like we have actually achieved it all. When that feeling crosses your mind, that’s when you need to move and effect change. Change is the only constant thing in the world.

Don’t say you can’t move. When you get that mindset, you will be poor. The worst thing you should avoid is being poor in the mind. Do not conform your mind to weak struggles. Conform your mind with strong struggles such that you will put more effort in your deeds. Challenge yourself and out great effort into that. Then expect great rewards.

Arm yourself with knowledge. Knowledge should be your weapon whenever you want to attack and get huge profit margins. Be hungry for knowledge and do not shy away from wanting to know more.

Go for quality. Quality begins with you. Be quality. Don’t be shady. How you look, is how you act. From what and how you dress, to how you carry yourself and interact. Look quality. Talk quality and expect nothing less of quality anywhere you venture into. When you are quality, you will definitely attract quality.

Build your own stature. No matter how difficult it may seem. It will cost you but it will be worth it. Do what you will be proud of. Quality will definitely make you a proud person.

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How Exposure, Hard Work and Resilience Helped Johnson Mwakazi to Build Himself

Kimani Patrick

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If background could dictate your future then that of Johnson Mwakazi could have been the worst. The joys of life of having a decent upbringing are a tale for his childhood; nevertheless, his adulthood is a total success.

Where Did Our Legend Start?

Mwakazi attributes his success to exposure and resilience. It all started way back in Kibera when he ‘said’ a poem in the presence of the director general of world health organization.

The stars were rightly placed for him. “He called me to perform the poem again in Switzerland Geneva, I have shared a table with the richest man in the world”, he says. That was his starting point and he has never looked backed ever since. Sooner than later he got a job at hot 96 FM where he mainly did voice over and was paid 4000 Kenyan shillings after six months.

“One day the producer said that they had heard enough of me on the radio and that I should try the TV. I applied for a job at citizen television without any tertiary academic qualification and I got the job.”

He had no godfathers or know anyone who knew someone else in order to get his job. Mwakazi attributes his success to his starting point, Kibera. “Coming from the largest slums in Africa made me have a clear cut of my responsibilities”, he affirms to me. “All of us have starting points, and that should move us to have a clear mindset of what we want in life.”

Who/What Has Influenced You This Far?

Exposure, it plays an important role in making us achieve our dreams or even meet our mentors in life. My mentor, who I also describe as my spiritual father, Rev Tom Otieno is one good man who helped me get into the spotlight. I first met when my mother took me to All Saints’ Cathedral church.

You do not have to meet your mentors face to face for you to be inspired. Technology has really made it easier for us to know our mentors. If your mentor is Chris Kirubi, get on YouTube and search for his talks.  Listen to them; if the first three lines do not appeal to you then he is not your mentor. Just because everyone loves him and sees him as a great person, it does not necessarily mean that he will be appealing to you.

January ‎20, ‎2017

How Can young people get mentors?

This narrows down to you as an individual. What are you looking for in a mentor?  The problem with the current youths is that most of them are pleased with the wrong behavior. They think that being cool, dressing is some ways or even talking in some tone makes you famous and admired with so many people.

Yes you might be famous for a while but that is not a long lasting heritage that you will be proud of as you age or even for your children.  Do not be mentored by someone who wants to destroy others, be mentored with people who inspire your integrity. Mentorship starts from the brain and not anywhere else.

The Journey To The Top

While he is a household name in our, Mwakazi says it was not easy for him to make it up to the top. Immediately he got a job with Citizen Television, he had to work twice harder to compete with people who were well versed and well learned in the field of journalism. He had to enroll at Daystar University.

However, this was not a walk in the park for him. He would work during the day and be in class in the evening. When I asked how he was able to overcome the challenge he simply recommended a book for me to read. Readers are leaders, as much as this may sound like a cliché it’s the truth of the matter. His main mantra is always, if you spend 10,000hours onto something that you love, you become an expert at it.

“Having a talent without fully focusing on it is a waste of time totally. You must be consistent in what you do, you should be concise. Being concise comes with a clear mind on what you want to achieve. For instance if you want to go to the gym, what do you hope to achieve after three months? Having such questions enables you to have a time slot that will ensure you do not under do it and despite the circumstances surrounding you, you need to do what you had planned to do.”

“It’s not a walk in the park or bread and butter affair; to be able to realize your dreams and live in the full splendor of your purpose. The process of making your dreams come into reality means that you are aware of the hard and tough choices you will have to make. There will be disappointments, lots of failures and more so a lot of pain. These rough times, subsequently, come and pass. Smooth seas never brought tough sailors. The moment you have that at the back of your mind, you are good to go.”

Mwakazi believes that to be great is not a childhood illusion, nevertheless, it is a feature that exists in all of us and not as believed that it is for the chosen few.

As a global business man who wants to invest into business as well as advice young entrepreneurs who want to startup businesses, Mwakazi insists that if plan A does not work not work there is plan B and there is no way you will move to plan B if you haven’t worked on plan A. You need to work with what you have, if it does not work move to the next resource.

“Resilience is the key to every business startup. Surround yourself with people whose brain works harmoniously with yours not people who compete with you. This will help you develop ideas strongly. It is important that one goes for a meet in places that allow you to think.”

Full feature on Inversk Magazine Issue 006. Head on to this link and start reading the magazine. Article first published on March 2, 2017.

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