Kenya has started a digital skills training programme to enable 1 million young people to secure freelance online work in the next year, in a bid to tackle the country's acute youth unemployment problem. Kenya has the highest rate of youth joblessness in East Africa, the World Bank said, with 17 percent of all young people eligible for work lacking jobs. Neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda have comparable rates of 5.5 and 6.8 percent respectively. There are now an estimated 40,000 Kenyans who have secured online work ranging from transcription services to software development on sites like Amazon's MTURK and the Kenyan-owned KuHustle platform. Joe Mucheru, the minister for information, communication and technology, said the digital jobs initiative aimed to boost that number to 1 million, using a partly government-funded program called Ajira, or "employment" in Swahili. Kenya has sought to promote itself as a tech hub for Africa. Its successes include pioneering work by Safaricom to build a mobile money payments system M-Pesa that can be used on the simplest devices and which has been mimicked abroad.
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