Broadening digital skills for Malawian youths

For years, Matthews Kajani from Zolozolo Township in Mzuzu City was spending a lot of time and resources in collecting and analyzing research data due to limited digital skills.

In those days, Kajani a Bachelor’s degree holder in Social Sciences from Livingstonia University, who usually works on part time basis with different organizations in monitoring and evaluation, was using hard copy questionnaires to collect data.

This was time consuming for Kajani. To simplify his work, he needed to refine his digital skills thus he enrolled for various online courses.

While doing online courses to sharpen his skills, he came across a digital skills training opportunity. The training, organized by Mzuzu Entrepreneur Hub is part of a Digital Malawi Project funded by World Bank through the Malawi Government under the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC).

Through the project, Mzuzu Entrepreneur Hub supports underserved (women, children and youths) people to move to independent living on a small scale through access to information, digital skills and provision of platforms for active participation.

Since he wanted to broaden his digital skills, Kajani applied because he believed the training would provide him with skills suitable for his work. His application was successful, and he attended a four weeks intensive training between May and June last year.

The training covered a range of topics including graphic designing, website designing, end user computing, photography and videography, data management, digital marketing and computer coding.

“Going to the training, my focus was on data management,” Kajani said. However, since there was a range of topics, I also focused on graphic designing and website designing because I saw that these two were relevant to my work.”

Kajani indicates that attending the training has helped him a lot. He said the skills he gained, have boosted his confidence and reduced time spent on data collection and analysis.

“Previously, I had no idea that one can use a cellphone to collect data, but now I am able to use it. Using my cellphone analyzes data automatically thereby cutting costs. Overall, it is improving the quality of my work,” Kajani said.

Aside from making his work easy, the digital skills Kajani gained have motivated him to become an entrepreneur.

“All along, when I was in school studying for my degree, my primary aim was to find a salaried job. With these skills, I saw an opportunity to establish a business. I am now running a video game center,” Kajani said.

He thus applauds Mzuzu Entrepreneur Hub for broadening his digital skills and would like the initiative to be extended to more youths as he believes it is vital to empowering more youths economically.