Addressing Digital Inclusion Barriers in Isiolo County: A Digitruck Program for Soft Skills Improvement.
Friday 19th March 55 female trainees have graduated from a four-day soft skills training offered by the Digitruck, in partnership with Women in Technology Huawei (WITH) in Garba Tula, Isiolo County. This is part of the program’s women’s history month initiative to empower women through training. These trainees are part of the 150 young community health volunteers who will be receiving digital skills training over the course of the next one month.
Soft skills are essential as they enable out-of-the-box thinking, and have a significant impact on an individual’s work ethic and overall career success. As such, it has grown to become a point of emphasis during most job applications. Integrating this missing link to the digital skills already provided by the Digitruck will enhance employability amongst the trainees.
During her speech, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs CAS Nadia Abdallah lauded Huawei’s efforts in bridging the digital divide through provision of digital literacy training to the disadvantaged. She also applauded the Women in Technology Huawei Program for its role in providing mentorship and guidance to young women pursuing courses and careers within STEM.
Technology plays an integral part of our everyday life. It facilitates implementation of applications and solutions that continue to improve the quality of life and reduce equality gaps both locally, and across the globe. However, to the marginalized, the lack of digital skills has been identified as one of the key barriers to adoption of technology. The Huawei Digitruck seeks to address this gap by making digital skills accessible to those in need, thereby exposing them to the various opportunities that technology presents.
Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. Stephen Nyakundi commended Huawei for having the Digitruck at the county, adding that through the skills acquired, the community would gain by having its beneficiaries create employment opportunities. He reiterated that the county would continue to support such initiatives.
Since its launch, the Digitruck has visited over 10 counties and trained over 2000 beneficiaries from across the country. The Huawei Digitruck continues to forge great partnerships with various stakeholders to not only scale the program, but also increase the pool of resources offered during training. The partnership with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs allows the trainees to put to use the skills acquired, to utilize the resources available under the Ajira Digital program, and seek opportunities online including online jobs and additional training.
WITH director, Maureen Mwaniki, noted that an increase in the number of women being empowered with digital and soft skills will yield greater opportunities for them in the digital world. She noted that this would be especially so for those coming from marginalized communities, notwithstanding the COVID challenges experienced globally. She added that, this being the first ever graduation held solely for women only, shows Huawei’s efforts in empowering women from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge that they can access the world from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, this could help them grow their communities through creating employment and knowledge transfer.
The women in Technology Huawei program, launched in 2019, aims to directly empower, connect and support over 4000 girls and women in STEM by 2022 through mentorship and training.