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Jua Kali artisans in Busia receive KES 10M grant

24 July 2014, 15:49 Jane Zack

Busia - Jua Kali artisans in Busia have been boosted by an announcement that a special fund will be set aside for them.

Governor Sospeter Ojaamong said the Fund, which will be increased in the next financial year, will be lent to the Jua Kali artisans at very low interest rates.

Ojaamong said claims of harassment by County officers will be addressed, and blamed the scenario on culture change. He also promised flexibility on issuance of licenses to Jua Kali artisans.

He said the County Government will light up border towns, estates and Jua Kali shades with electricity and solar light, adding that his administration will be flexible to the small traders.

The Governor was addressing the traders during the Busia County Jua Kali Conference in Busia town on Monday where the traders discussed their future plans and the relevance of Micro and Small Enterprises Act 2012 to them.

“Thank you for your vital role especially in job creation for the youth. We want to see you grow into bigger industries. It‘s regrettable that there is no diagnostic machine in the entire County. My administration will strive to ensure that such anomalies become a thing of the past,” Ojaamong said.

Ojaamong said there was need for more cottage industries to produce more Jua Kali products, adding that his administration will introduce awards to best small scale traders to create competition.

He ordered the County Trade and Industrialization Executive Hillary Makhulu to set up a website for Jua Kali artisans to enable them market their products both locally and internationally.

Ugandan MSEs including LUNAS Enterprise (U) Ltd Chief Executive Officer Lucia Namubiru attended the conference where they showcased their products.

Namubiru narrated how she started from a humble beginning to an emerging entrepreneur and challenged Kenyan youth to stop dreaming of white collar jobs which are elusive.

The conference was also aimed at selecting the best County Jua Kali product for the national jua kali conference which had earlier been scheduled to start on July 25 but had now been pushed forward to
August 27.

Some traders described the future of Jua Kali in Kenya as gloomy with limited access to loans and tenders  and lack of access to access loans.

They also urged the national government to devolve Jua Kali functions and to regulate the importation of similar goods they produce into the country to protect them from cut-throat competition.
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