Bridging the Digital Divide in Nairobi County Through ICDL Certification
Nairobi County, the vibrant capital of Kenya, has taken a significant stride towards digital empowerment. In a colorful ceremony held at the Stanley Hotel on July 14th, the County Government of Nairobi received the ICDL ATC certificate, marking a new dawn for the region. County Executive Committee members, County Secretary, Chief Officers, Incubation Centre Principals and trainers, and county staff graced the event, which was led by ICDL CEO, Damien. This momentous achievement launched an exciting partnership between Nairobi County and ICDL Africa, aiming to equip the workforce with essential digital skills and transform the region into a technologically skilled and globally competitive hub.
Building a Digitally Skilled Workforce:
The assessment of over 300 staff members in Nairobi County using the ICDL compass assessment tool revealed a significant need for digital skills across all departments. Recognizing this urgent demand, the county embarked on becoming an Accredited Testing Centre. In his speech, Mr. Mike Gumo, the CECM Innovation and Digital Economy, representing the Governor, emphasized the County’s vision of embedding technology and transforming Nairobi into a smart city. The Governor is passionate about leveraging technology to address the city’s challenges, believing that 60% of Nairobi’s problems can be solved through digitization. To achieve this vision, digital literacy among county staff and the young population seeking skills through incubation centers at an affordable price is crucial. With a workforce exceeding 14,000, it is imperative to digitally empower them with skills that enable effective service delivery to the population. The county aims to train 1,400 individuals by the end of the financial year in June 2024.
Digital Transformation in Nairobi County:
Despite investing in infrastructure such as computers in training hubs and internet connectivity, little activity takes place in the incubation centers due to a lack of trained manpower. However, this situation is set to change with the adoption of ICDL. The initial cohort of trainees will consist of 20 trainers drawn from the incubation centers, and the training will be conducted by ICDL to ensure they are well-prepared to train others. Following their certification, the Train the Trainer (TTT) program will commence, enabling the county to take ownership of the program and train its staff. These efforts support the county in achieving its dream of digital transformation, with plans to establish over 85 incubation centers across the city.
ICDL CEO, Mr. Damien, extended his congratulations to the County government for being the first to be accredited and embracing ICDL. He emphasized that focusing on the workforce through digital skills is the best starting point, stating, “The digital economy is powered by people; people are powered by Digital skills, and digital skills are powered by ICDL.” Cities that have successfully transformed have recognized the importance of digital skills for efficient and effective service delivery. This trend is observed globally, with countries like Rwanda making great strides through the adoption of ICDL in the civil service. Nairobi is on the right track, as digital skills will not only better prepare the young generation for the job market but also create online opportunities. Furthermore, leveraging technology in education will empower independent learners with entrepreneurial skills.
With Nairobi County leading the way as an ATC, it is anticipated that the remaining 47 counties across the country will follow suit. ICDL Africa eagerly looks forward to onboarding more counties and transforming the digital literacy narrative nationwide.
The recent accreditation of Nairobi County as an ATC for ICDL Africa marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards digital transformation. This partnership reflects Nairobi County’s commitment to digitally empower its workforce, enhance employability, and drive economic growth. As the county continues to build a technologically skilled workforce, it sets a commendable example for other regions, demonstrating the power of digital skills in shaping a brighter future for all. The collaboration between Nairobi County and ICDL Africa paves the way for bridging the digital divide, enabling individuals and communities to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.