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Your term as Chair of Advisory Board will come to a close this year. What would you term as your greatest achievements this far?

My greatest achievements since my appointment in year 2014 have been to successfully build on the accomplishments by my predecessors and sustained a culture of integrity. Some of the other achievements during my tenor include:-
1.    Entrenched a workable revolving funds concept; Out of the Ksh.3.39 billion exchequer receipts, the Fund has cumulatively disbursed Ksh.7.9 billion worth of loans to 1,197,206 beneficiaries.  Since January, 2014, the Fund has disbursed loans worth Kshs.4,234,650,000 to 442,128 beneficiaries in all the 290 constituencies.  

2.    Impressive loan repayment of 88%.  This has been made possible through partnership with local leaders, professional staff, proper vetting of applications and strong structures and policies on collections.

3.    Training of 401,865 beneficiaries since January, 2014 on financial management, records keeping, entrepreneurship and group cohesiveness among others.  The Fund uses local volunteers who are trained as trainers to dispense knowledge in a manner that would be understood and appreciated by women from the grassroots.

4.    The Fund has facilitated access by the marginalized groups (PWDs, Women and Youth) to the preferential government procurement opportunities through introduction of Bid Bonds and LPO financing products in December, 2014.  So far, fifty (50) women have benefited with LPOs.  Further, a total of 190 women, youth and PWDs have been given tenders worth Ksh.28.9 million directly by the Fund for provision of goods and services.  
5.    Instituted a robust ICT infrastructure for effective and efficient service delivery. This includes use of MPESA services by women to make repayments, an elaborate SMS communication with clients through code 22501, a web based bankers system for loan processing as well as processing financial and HR reports.  Consequently, the Fund has won ICT awards for two consecutive years for best use of ICT in the State Corporations Category, issued by the ICT Association of Kenya.

6.    Facilitated ease of doing business through various ways, i.e. the ICT platform, provision of laptops to all field staff for efficient loan processing, use of local volunteers for a number of services to women in the grassroots, monthly loan approvals by the Board, and having our services in the Huduma Centres.

7.    The Fund has supported women in formation of 91 SACCOs countrywide with total savings of Ksh.28.2 million.  The approach was meant to encourage a culture of savings among women and also in the realization that women have to own financial institutions to break the barriers to financial inclusion. In year 2015, officials of the registered saccos were taken through an elaborate training program to boost their growth and sustainability.  Other supportive mechanisms have been put in place by the Fund.  

8.    The Fund undertook deliberate and targeted interventions that have seen increase in loans uptake in ‘hard to reach ‘areas of our country, unfortunately these areas continue to be disadvantaged as a result of cultural and religious beliefs when it comes to Women Economic Empowerment.

The success of the Fund is a clear testimony that indeed Government Funds targeting special groups like women, youth and persons with disabilities can succeed with professional leadership, dedicated staff, proper targeting and correct program design.

What plans have you laid out for a smooth transition in terms of the person coming after you?

The Chair always performs his/ her duties through the support of other members of the Board.  Proper transition is guaranteed through having an elaborate induction process which communicates the values and principles of the institution. The Board members’ appointments are staggered, meaning that at any one particular time, there are older members to carry on the culture and assist the newly appointed ones to quickly settle down and carry the mantle.

This Board that was under the Devolution Ministry has not been marred by discrepancies or financial misappropriations what have you done differently?

The Fund has a robust foundation with clear policies and structures that ensures accountability and proper management of resources.  Decision making at the Fund is always pegged on value addition to customers and value for money, following the laid down policies and regulations.  Lastly, as a Board mandated with oversight, we are entrusted with public resources and therefore strictly adhere to the principles of corporate governance.  We know we shall be held accountable by the public and the appointing authority for all our decisions and actions, it is therefore important for us not go against that trust. The values of accountability, ethics and integrity are also entrenched upon management and staff who are held fully responsible for their actions.  

What do you plan on doing after this?

Continue serving my country at every opportunity.

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