NAIROBI – Kenya is leading in providing opportunities for women, with close to $ 3 Billion on offer in the 2015/2016 financial year. The funds that are being provided through various initiatives including the Women’s fund, the Youth Fund, and the Uwezo fund are ring fenced so as to provide affirmative action for women.
This is according to the Kenya Association of Women Business Owners, an organization at the forefront of advocating for affirmative action to strengthen the position of women in business in Kenya.
‘Securing this milestone is further evidence of the commitment Kenya has made in empowering women business owners” Said Kawbo board member Marilyn Kamuru
According to the Association research indicates that there is extensive knock on impact on society as a result of investing in women.
“For every dollar that you put in women’s hands 80 cents goes to the family.” She said.
The organization also holds that strides made by the government in enabling women in business can only have an impact if women actually take up the opportunities.
The remarks made at a press conference convened on the sidelines of the the Vital Voices Forum being held in Nairobi.
The forum by Vital Voices Global Partnership is hosting the Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Forum, a program that aims to increase African women’s economic engagement in labor and entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 4 day summit Director of Vital Voices Global Partnership Celena Green said the forum was being held to take stock of the gains that women in business had made over the year.
“The introduction of the Public Procurement and Disposal (Preference and Reservations) Regulations in 2011 undoubtedly marked a critical shift in the manner in which government procures goods, services and works,” said the chairperson of the Kenya Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO) Eva Muraya.
In late 2012, Kenya Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO) launched the Imarisha Biashara campaign. Imarisha Biashara campaign successfully trained 700 women in a period of two years, secured women and persons with disabilities as key stakeholders of the Preference and Reservations and Successfully lobbied for the removal of the turnover ceiling of KSh. 10 million imposed by the National Treasury in 2013 enabling women with a turnover in excess of this amount to register and be awarded the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) certificate.
The forum paves way for Vital Voices to highlight advocacy initiatives taking place around the continent working to accelerate women’s participation in advancing economic growth.
The forum convened leaders representing business, government, civil society and media to highlight women’s contributions to the continent’s fastest growing economies. The forum emphasized the critical role that African women play in the economy in advocacy and entrepreneurship, celebrated their partner’s initiative and shared best practices and new initiatives.
This event will include two high level keynote speakers, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative; and Kah Walla, Founder and CEO, Strategies! and 2011 Presidential Candidate, Cameroon; in addition to two panels with prominent speakers from across the continent. Approximately 100- 150 women will be participating from a targeted invite-only list of stakeholders and decision-makers.