The Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) under the Digital Malawi Project (DIGMAP) has expressed satisfaction with the current resounding successes emanating from the Digital Skills Development and Innovation Initiative as 10930 youths and women are trained in digital skills against the target of 5,000 beneficiaries.
The Commission through DIGMAP is implementing Digital Skills Development and Innovation activities under the emblem ‘Luntha ndi Chuma’ with funding from the World Bank through 9 tech hubs. The initiative aims to help tackle Malawi’s digital literacy and advanced ICT skills gaps; strengthen the digital innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem; and advance job creation, entrepreneurship, and creativity, particularly for the youth.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, PPPC CEO, Patrick Kabambe said the blooming progress signifies the Commission’s commitment to bridging the digital gap, fostering economic growth, and sparking job creation and entrepreneurship among the youth and women in the country.
He said: “The Luntha ndi Chuma initiative is one of the DIGMAP’s flagship initiatives designed to tackle Malawi’s digital literacy, spur economic growth, and empower the youth and women in our society. Surpassing the target of 5,000 beneficiaries signifies the Commission’s commitment to reaching out to more privileged innovators nationwide.
The Luntha ndi Chuma initiative is segmented into two phases: the first phase which is phased out, and the ongoing second phase. In the second phase, the Commission has contracted with 6 tech hubs: NxtGen, mHub, Mzuzu E-hub, Computer Clinic, GreenImpact Technologies, and Rydberg Starck Limited.
Kabambe added that apart from 10930 trained in digital skills for today’s competitive market, 57 sub-grants ranging from US$ 2,500 to US$ 200 were awarded to the most promising innovators during the pitching competitions, and 55 youths were placed under internship programs in various organizations nationwide.
He added that 3,617 trainees including the elderly were equipped with ICT skills through the Mass ICT Literacy Program held by the tech hubs.
“Currently, ICT has become integral to everyday life. However, millions of senior citizens struggle to navigate the internet or use internet-enabled technologies like phones, and Automated Teller Machine (ATM). As technology advances, older people are falling further and further behind when it comes to ICT competencies. This is why through the Luntha ndi Chuma initiative we have embarked on building digital literacy for youths, senior citizens, and everyone else who has never touched or used a phone/computer before, ” said Kabambe.
The PPPC plans to complete the Luntha ndi Chuma initiative by the first quarter of 2024.