A claim by Kenyan President William Ruto that tech giants want to hire up to 300,000 Kenyan online workers is eliciting sharp reactions, including public criticism. Ruto made the statement earlier this week, shortly after leading a US-Kenya business roadshow in which he pitched the country to top US tech companies and investors in Silicon Valley. Few countries in Africa are as well positioned to attract big tech investment as Kenya. Such statements can be frustrating to the millions of Kenyan youth grappling with unemployment and the high cost of living. According to the most recent census data, 5.3 million, or 38.9% of young Kenyans, are unemployed. In the past year, Microsoft and Google both opened landmark development centers in Nairobi and began recruiting some of the country’s top tech talent. The Silicon Valley roadshow undoubtedly boosted Kenya’s profile to tech investors at a time when the president can point to progress.
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