The Ajira Digital Program has parterned with the Amahoro Coalition to explore ways to enable the refugee population in Kenya to work online.

Several actors had a meeting to discuss the benefits of business process digitization and the outsourcing of talents and services online from marginalized youth in the Kakuma and Daadab refugee camps. The refugee camps are located in Turkana and Garissa respectively.

According to Ajira Digital Program and Amahoro Coalition, the local private sector can do more than just offering of humanitarian aid to the estimated 500,000 refugee population in the country. They can do so by advancing their inclusion in the digital workspace and ultimately contributing to youth employment and economic growth.

The initiative now offers hope to young people bogged down by mobility and access limitations, to explore opportunities beyond the camps. Promising them of local digital and digitally-enabled work regardless of gender, background, geographical, and physical conditions.

Ajira Digital Program, a project of the Government of Kenya, being implemented by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and with funding from Mastercard Foundation. It has been popularizing the local digital economy and improving livelihoods by driving the adoption of digital and online work in Kenya. The program offers digital skills training and mentorship free of charge, to ease young people’s transition to jobs in the digital space.

“We have a lot of talent waiting to be tapped among the refugee population in Kenya. We have seen many examples of bright but marginalized young people delivering quality work to global clients through online platforms. Our aim is, therefore, to help grow and harness this talent to also deliver work for our local businesses, thus creating even more opportunities for refugees to add value not only in their local communities but also nationally”, said Dr. Ehud Gachugu, Project Director, Ajira Digital Program and Youth Employment at KEPSA.

The Ajira Digital Program is mandated with making the country a digital freelancing hub by engaging the private sector and public sectors to support digitally skilled youth to access quality jobs. It has recorded over 1.9 million Kenyans working online up from about 600,000 in 2020. The 2022 Ajira Digital National Survey also indicates that close to 9 million Kenyans are aware of online and digital work opportunities.

The study ‘Private Sector Digital Outsourcing Practices in Kenya’, further indicates that 59% of the private sector in Kenya are already outsourcing digital services with another 75% intending to outsource in the future. In addition to the creation of decent employment and inclusion for young people, other benefits of digital outsourcing for businesses highlighted in the study include business efficiency, reduction, and management of overhead costs, access to specialized, technical, and professional skills, as well as business agility, a core factor in improving productivity.