Microsoft recently unveiled the Future Ni Digital initiative – a digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and career skills program. Through this initiative, over 50,000 owners of Micro Small Enterprises (MSEs) across Kenya will be equipped with the relevant digital skills by the end of this year.
The current pandemic has led to a remarkable increase in the use of digital technologies including online learning to virtual meetings and online collaboration. In addition, the post-pandemic world poses a larger demand for the skills needed to navigate, whether on computers or mobile devices.
The initiative was unveiled in partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation and the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Development & its agencies.
“Initiatives such as Future Ni Digital are preparing individuals and businesses for a more digitally connected world, enabling them to take advantage of the tools that can enable them to thrive,” says Kendi Ntwiga, Kenya Country Manager, Microsoft.
The training takes a blended approach, combining in-person training sessions at government centres, with an online learning platform, FutureNiDigital.org) (https://www.futurenidigital.org/).
“This year, the program seeks to equip 50,000 learners with digital skills; train 1,000 government trainers; and have 2,000 placed in employment,” explains Kanyuga. “The long-term goal is to build the capacity of government centres to enable them to continue running digital skilling training for years to come.”
According to the World Economic Forum, ‘Technology use, monitoring and control’ will be one of the ten most in-demand skills by 2025. Some basic skills incorporated in the Future Ni Digital programme include the ability to use computers, to use computer programs such as word processors, to navigate on the internet and to use communication tools such as social media and email. In addition, more advanced skills such as coding, cloud computing and data analytics can be an added advantage in career and business.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft has provided a grant to the implementation partner, the Africa Centre for Women in ICT, to enable them to facilitate the training of government trainers. The organization has also deployed an online learning platform, FutureNiDigital.org, in collaboration with Stanbic Bank Foundation and are working on a job platform as well.