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Bridging the Digital Gap

Bridging the Digital Gap

Contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 8 by increasing labour productivity and reducing the unemployment rate in Kenya

MDF in partnership with Close the Gap, CrossWise Works, Good Up and NITA is implementing a 3-year 1.5 million euro matching grant for a circular economy project in Kenya, started July 2019. The project, called BOOST (before LEAP 2), aims to contribute to SDG 8 by increasing labour productivity, reducing the unemployment rate in Kenya, especially for youth and women.

Through the project, the consortium hopes to improve access to financial services and benefits for young social entrepreneurs towards sustained and inclusive economic growth. The project presents a unique opportunity for MDF Training & Consultancy to demonstrate its expertise in project management, development, and delivery of vocational training programs and monitoring and evaluation.

Our client
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), through its SDG Partnership facility (SDGP), has granted the consortium a 1.5 million Euros matching fund. MDF Training & Consultancy is working in a consortium with private- and public sector organisations based in Europe and Kenya, towards the realisation of establishing a circular economy hub in Kenya.

The challenge
Mombasa is Kenya's second-largest city and this coastal region is home to East Africa's largest port with a current youth unemployment rate at 44%. The region has a growing manufacturing sector; however, there exists a visible skill gap and poor absorption of youth to the labour market. This is partly due to the limited priority given to the education sector in the region. The project offers an opportunity to inspire the youth to adopt a business mindset and develop innovate ideas for solving some of the problems they are facing.

Our solutions and results

Our solution  

BOOST aims to contribute to the Kenyan economy by developing a circular economy system to tackle Kenya’s e-waste challenge. This project will also bridge the digital divide by providing sustainable innovative tech solutions. These include the use and re-use of electronic waste with minimal impact on the environment, creation of job opportunities for the large youth population in Kenya, and improvement of working conditions in the manufacturing space. The approach embraces the three co-related pillars of manufacture, innovate and educate.

Manufacture consists of ‘the factory' where electronics are used, re-used and e-waste managed with minimal impact on environment and with the creation of job opportunities in better working conditions.
The ‘innovation space' organises demo days, co-creation and incubation challenges to support manufacturing and e-waste innovations, start-ups and existing local businesses that contribute to alleviate Kenya's societal challenges.
Educate consists of a learning centre for training of ICT professionals and educating organisations and individuals on e-waste management, sustainable working conditions, and circular economy principles.
With the local availability of an education centre, hundreds of employment opportunities and combined with start-up guidance, this project will have a great impact on Mombasa and its people.

The results

BOOST Kenya's long-term view is to create 50 direct jobs and 300 indirect jobs by the year 2022. The project also aims to build the capacity of more than 2200 ICT-related professionals across the value chain partners of the Circular Economy Hub, and raise awareness of at least 10,000 people in the Mombasa region to the health, safety and environmental hazards of electronic e-waste, as well as the importance of properly maintaining and disposing of e-waste.

For general information