Kenya expands Ajira Digital Programme through BPO to address unemployment

In a collaborative effort led by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the Ajira Digital Programme is set to expand globally through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), aiming to reduce the unemployment gap in the country.

According to a report by Kenya News, the BPO initiative, themed ‘Promoting Kenya as a Global Destination Hub for Outsourcing of Work,’ seeks to unlock international opportunities, understand the current landscape, and create relevant incentives.

The program advocates for government policy regulations, business support, and enhanced competition in domestic and offshore markets, thereby generating job opportunities.

According to a report by the Kenya Investment Authority (KIA), BPO has experienced an average annual growth of 20 percent, employing over 36,000 people and generating $400 million in revenue each year.

The report highlights that with good governance and a favorable environment for BPO, dignified employment opportunities can be created, contributing positively to the national economy.

Flora Mutahi, Chairperson of KEPSA, emphasized that the Ajira Digital Programme Initiative not only offers job creation for the youth but also provides digital solutions to businesses, ultimately promoting Kenya’s economy.

BPO plays a crucial role by offering services worldwide, including increased flexibility, reduced costs, and enhanced service quality, enabling businesses to focus on their core activities and deliver value to customers and processes.

The global BPO market was valued at $261.9 billion last year and is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.4 percent from 2023 to 2030. The demand for BPO services spans sectors such as healthcare, banking, pharmaceuticals, financial services, insurance, information, and telecommunications.

The BPO industry in Kenya has experienced significant growth, positioning the country as a key outsourcing destination in Africa. The KIA report indicates an annual growth rate of 20 percent over the past five years.

Additionally, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), encompassing 55 African countries with a market of over 1.2 billion people and a GDP of $3.4 trillion, presents significant opportunities for the private sector, including Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

It aims to eliminate trade barriers and stimulate trade flows, investment, and industrialization across the continent, boosting economic growth.

Mohammed Jabane, the ICT and the Digital Economy Administrative Secretary, highlighted the Ministry’s flagship programs, including the installation of high-speed fiber optic infrastructure, internet hotspots, digital hubs, and the Kenya E-waste program.

These initiatives aim to promote digital inclusion, equip the youth with online job skills, position Kenya as a labor destination for multinational companies, and foster digital work creation within the public and private sectors.

Jabane stated that the government is committed to developing supportive policies, mobilizing platforms, engaging more partners, and establishing job linkages and e-commerce through the National Addressing System.

With an estimated pool of 1.9 million digital freelancers in the country, the focus will also be on improving BPO’s offshore outsourcing capabilities, as domestic sourcing alone is insufficient.

The expansion of the Ajira Digital Programme through BPO reflects Kenya’s determination to address unemployment, harness digital opportunities, and create a thriving business environment in line with global trends. –

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