Stop painting us as digitally illiterate, Tuju raps US Senator

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju []

Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has hit out at a US Senator over his remarks which he says depicts Kenya like a digital illiterate nation.

Kentucky representative Paul Rand said the US spent about $100, 000 (10 million) to educate Kenyan farmers on how to use facebook.

In a tweet, the US Senator said that according to the Star, “It may not seem like a lot of money, but we spent just under $100k to make sure Kenyan farmers knew how to use Facebook.”

He added the money was channeled in the country through USAID to educate Kenyan farmers who are grappling with “device literacy” challenges.

“At least, this was the premise behind the Simu Shape Up: Edutainment to Shape Up Cell Phone use Among African Rural Farmers program…The project produced segments to air on the Shamba Shape Up television show,” he said in reference to a reality format show which aired on a local TV station in Kenya,” read a House report in part.

The bone of contention was that even a year before USAID started funding the initiative, the program was already using text messages as a tool to interact with farmers.

“In other words, farmers were already harnessing text messages and mobile technology to help their farms, with the pace of progress likely only increasing their numbers. American taxpayers, meanwhile, receive little to no benefit from producing television infomercials telling foreign audiences how to Google.”

But Tuju in response to the US Senator assertions, he said it was a bad picture because Kenya is the leading country in Africa when it comes to internet connectivity and usage.

“For your information, like you, our parents are also on social media. Stop painting us as digitally illiterate,” he said in response.

A Jubilee activist, Polycarp Hinga said: “More like …somebody in the US enjoying that money and lying that they are funding “Facebook literacy” programs in Kenya.

“We are saying that there’s no US funded program to teach farmers how to use Facebook. We do not need money for that, we did not get money for that,” said he.

He disputed claims that the US funded Kenya towards digital literacy citing that, “Kenya never received the said funds as claimed.”