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Capacity building initiative to benefit women enterprises

18 February 2014, 09:25 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - Women led enterprises in Kenya will benefit from a capacity building initiative following a Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon between the United Nations Women agency and the International Trade Corporation.

Speaking on Monday at Harambee house when she called on Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, visiting United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the capacity building agreement is tailored to empower women in business especially women suppliers.

“I will facilitate a meeting between UN Women, the International Trade Organization and the Kenyan delegation to the forthcoming conference on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York to discuss how they can work with Kenya to build capacity for the women under the 30% Procurement initiative that gives preferential treatment to enterprises owned by women, youth and persons with disabilities,” said Ngcuka.

On her part, CS Waiguru noted that Kenya is the first and only country that has given an opportunity to women to do business with the government by encouraging them to be entrepreneurs and to expand their businesses.

“This is an initiative geared towards empowering women by encouraging them to be entrepreneurs and expand their businesses through the 30% Procurement preferential opportunity for youth, women, and persons with disability,” she said adding that the Government is working with the National Chamber of Commerce and other arms to ensure that the challenges facing women entrepreneurs are being adequately addressed.

She emphasized that the Jubilee Manifesto was very clear that women issues especially for those living in the marginalized communities are addressed.

Through proactive empowerment initiatives such as the 30% procurement opportunity and the uwezo fund,  Waiguru was optimistic that all forms of discrimination against women can be eliminated since women make enormous contributions to the economy as workers and entrepreneurs.

She stated that the government has made bold steps in ensuring that the women of Kenya are given opportunities to become entrepreneurs and expand their businesses.

Waiguru pointed out that Kenya will participate in the upcoming United Nations Commission on Status of Women conference to be held in New York next month where the delegation will showcase the initiatives Kenya has made to empower her women.

Mlambo-Ngcuka commended the Kenya Government for the support given to their regional office. UN Women, she said, was keen to make Kenya her strategic partner in order to achieve her goals for the women of the world noting that a closer relationship with Kenya was critical for purposes of gender responsiveness.

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