Similar to Pakistan, Kenya’s youth bulge is a ‘ticking time bomb’ with over 80% of unemployed Kenyans below 35 years of age and while the government is unable to meet the needs of creating jobs, we see there is an opportunity to engage youth and have them learn digital skills that will connect them to the global market and make them active contributors to the Kenyan digital economy
The idea of EmpowerX is based on the concept that with increasing digital economy around the world, there is an increase in the demand of digital skills and therefore we are training the youth in these skills so they are able to connect with the international online job market.
The model has been very successful in South Asia and therefore we want to use the same model and apply it in Kenya to make the youth active contributors to the digital economy.
Our theory of change is to empower the youth through digital skills and entrepreneurship and we are doing that by training them in 3 major areas such as (1) soft skills (2) digital skills and (3) business skills
Soft skills are skills that are needed by employers such as good communication, decision making, showing commitment, time management, creativity, leadership and problem solving.
Digital skills are the skills of the future that give the youth competitive edge such as learning how to build a website, designing, data analysis, virtual assistance, content writing, digital marketing etc.
Business skills are the skills required to launch a business such as entrepreneurship, freelancing, team management, project management, marketing, finance, legal etc.
The outcome of the program is to create empowered individuals who are active contributors to the digital economy either as freelancers or business starters.
Saad Hamid is the founder of School of Skills and a digital ecosystem builder from Pakistan who specializes in creating programs that create opportunities for the youth and help them become active contributors to the digital economy. He’s previously been affiliated with Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing platform as their Country Representative for Pakistan. The e-skills program developed by Saad have been endorsed by the World Bank and adopted by Pakistan’s provincial governments in Punjab and KP. He is an Acumen Fellow, TED-Ed fellow and a Google Developer Expert. Saad has also worked with IDEO.org as the Global Facilitator for Amplify Challenges.
Caren Wakoli is an emerging leader in East Africa who has launched a foundation to support the next generation of leaders for Africa. She’s currently serving as the founder of Emerging Leaders Foundation which operates in Kenya and has trained as many as 6,000 youth on mentorship and leadership.
Saad and Caren are both part of the Acumen Fellows community!
We have seen how this program has done wonders for the youth in Pakistan and we think we have a great opportunity here to replicate the success in Nairobi which has a growing youth population and digital economy just like Pakistan.
Here we want to take the opportunity to introduce you to Kashif who has gladly agreed to share his story with you.