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SPEECH BY MRS. SICILY KARIUKI, MBS, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRYOF PUBLIC SERVICE, YOUTH AND GENDER DURING AFFIRMATIVE FUNDS CHEQUE ISSUANCE ON FRIDAY, 27TH FEBRUARY 2016 IN MWINGI CENTRAL, KITUI COUNTY.

His Excellency Hon. Julius. Malombe,Governor, Kitui County,
His Excellency Hon David Musila,Senator, Kitui County,
Hon. Joe Musyimi Mutambu, MP,Kitui Central Constituency,
Hon. Winfred Nyiva Mwendwa, MP, Kitui County,
Principal Secretary, Gender Affairs,
Board Chairpersons and Board of Directors,
Acting Chief Executive Officers, (Uwezo Fund, YEDF and WEF)
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am greatly honoured to officiate in today’s Uwezo Fund, Youth Fund, and Women Enterprise Development Funds Cheque issuance and Sensitization ceremony for Mwingi Central Constituency.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


The main challenges that are affecting our Women, Youth and persons with disability are enormous and varied. Women and the youth are constrained by lack of business capital, business experience and negative discrimination. This has greatly reduced their chances of accessing credit for starting or growing their businesses.

The youth and women comprise over 60% of our Country’s population, but despite their significant numbers, they have largely been overlooked in the country’s socio- economic progress.

The socio-economic empowerment of these groups is one of the key agenda that Jubilee Government is seeking to address with initiatives such as Uwezo Fund, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Women Enterprise development Fund among other similar initiatives.

It is the intention of the Government, through these funds to provide Kenyans with the required capital to implement their business ideas to create self-employment and improve their livelihoods.

Ladies and Gentlemen
The Uwezo Fund specifically, seeks to expand access to finances in promotion of youth, women, and persons living with disability businesses and enterprises at constituency level for economic growth towards the realisation of the goals of Vision 2010
The three Funds within my Ministry, provides mentorship opportunities to enable the beneficiaries take advantage of the 30% Government Procurement Preference through its Capacity Building Programme.
These initiative were developed by the Government to enable Youth, Women and Persons with Disability to also generate Self-employment and be economically empowered thereby uplifting their socio-economic status.


Ladies and Gentlemen,
Uwezo Fund
I am pleased to note the Uwezo Fund has so far disbursed 5.35 Billion shillings to all the 290 constituencies in the country. Kitui County was allocated Kshs 158,924,668for Uwezo Funds during the financial year 2014/2015.

Mwingi Central received Kshs 20,938,487 Uwezo funds allocations for this period.

In regards to today’s function, I am pleased to note that Uwezo Fund cheques totalling Kshs6,270,000 million will today be issuedto73 beneficiary groups in this Constituency.
WEF
As regards to Women Enterprise Funds, Kshs. 7.51 Billion has been disbursed to 1,167,317 women and Kitui County has received Kshs. 148.6 million since inception. Today, we are pleased to issue Kshs.5,050,000.00 to 30 groups drawn from Mwingi Central . This will go a long way to benefit 390 members.
YEDF
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I take this opportunity to recognise the good work that isbeing done by the three affirmative funds and hence need to strengthen them with the necessary support and required resources in order to serve Youth, Women and Disabled.
As the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Economic Empowerment Programmes for youth and women, I reaffirm my commitment towards ensuring that more Kenyans access Government funding to enable them realise their full potential to accelerate their individual as well as the overall country’s economic growth.
The various Boards for these affirmative funds are therefore called upon to continue undertaking sensitization and public awareness activities to ensure efficiency in Loan access, repayment and recovery mechanism which include regular field activities.
Last but not least, it is my appeals to beneficiaries of all Government Loans to repay them promptly to enable more Kenyans access of funds through a revolving mechanism.
With those remarks, it is now my honour to issue out the Cheques to beneficiaries.

Ahsanteni Sana

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