SPEECH BY MRS. ZEINAB HUSSEIN, PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SERVICE, YOUTH AND GENDER AFFAIRS, STATE DEPARTMENT OF GENDER AFFAIRS. DURING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FUNDS CHEQUE ISSUANCE ON FRIDAY 19TH AUGUST 2016, KISUMU COUNTY.
His Excellency the Governor of Kisumu County
Hon Members of parliament
Chairpersons of the Affirmative Funds
CEOs of the Affirmative Funds
Area Members of County Assembly
All protocols observed
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am greatly honored to join you today to officiate the Women Enterprise Fund and Uwezo Funds’ Cheque issuance and sensitization ceremony here in Kisumu County.
I would like to warmly welcome the general public to this sensitization forum today and first and foremost begin by recognizing and commending the County Government of Kisumu for hosting us, and in particular His Excellency the Governor for supporting this initiative in his capacity as the County Champion of the fund. It goes without saying that the presence of this distinguished guest amplifies the vital role both the Ministry and the County government plays in ensuring the realization of this fund.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is immense potential in Kisumu County among the Youth, Women and Persons with Disability. The Funds are premised on giving the right kind of opportunities to these targeted groups. With proper utilization of the money we have disbursed to your respective constituencies, am certain it will influence economic opportunity and empowerment of the Youth, Women and Persons living with disabilities in this county.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are gathered here today to actualize the dream of the current government of empowering a significant segment of the Kenyan population which has long been marginalized despite their numerical advantage. I note that women and youth comprise over 70% of our Country’s population but despite this, they have continued to face enormous and varied challenges in their pursuit for social economic empowerment.
Women, Youth and Persons with Disability are constrained by lack of business capital/security and discrimination which has greatly reduced their chances of accessing credit for starting or expanding their businesses.
Through the Affirmative Action Funds such as Women Enterprise Fund, National Government Affirmative Action Fund and UWEZO Fund and other programmes, it is the intention of the Government, that the marginalized populations can access necessary capital to implement their business ideas, generate income for themselves and improve their livelihoods.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
WEF, National Government Affirmative Action Fund and UWEZO Funds are ensuring that the target groups are accessing affordable credit, creating jobs for themselves and others, and participate in the economic development of our nation thereby contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of Vision 2030.
My department is continuously investing in capacity building programmes to ensure that the uptake of the 30% government procurement opportunities increases for the benefit of these target groups.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Since inception, WEF has cumulatively disbursed Ksh. 8.49 Billionto self-help groups benefitting 1,238,581individual women across the country. This is by no means a mean achievement. The Fund now boasts of an average loan repayment rate of 89% across the country. Kisumu County has received a total of Ksh. 187,350,000 which has benefited 2,005 groups and 21,579 individuals.
I am pleased to say that the Fund has initiated formation of 109 Women Owned SACCOs across the country. In Kisumu County, there are 5 women owned SACCO; in Seme, Muhuroni and Nyakach.
I regret that there are no SACCOs registered in Kisumu East and West even after sensitization were carried out. The Fund has set aside Ksh. 250 million to on lend to the SACCOS.
I challenge you to take up the initiative and form SACCOs so that you can benefit from the existing structures that have been put in place with the Fund.
The Fund has also enhanced the loan amounts from Ksh.500,000 to 750,000 and Ksh. 1,000, 000 respectively to cater for groups that are involved in projects and government tendering process.
The Uwezo fund has been operational for close to three years, and has disbursed 5.35 Billion and approved 5.12 Billion shillings to all the 290 constituencies and so far 55,244 groups of 34,360 women 19,461youth and 1,423 PWDs totaling to 846,949 beneficiarieswho have accessed Uwezo Fund. Kisumu County received an allocation of Kshs. 126,129,140 and approved Kshs. 128,392,000 which has benefited 1,589 groups and 33,347 individuals.
We are pleased to announce that since inception of the Funds, Kisumu County has received Ksh. 315,742,000 benefitting 54,926 individuals.
Today, I am here to issue a total of 8,160,000 Million to 109 groups of Uwezo Fund and Ksh 1.5 Million to 135, WEF beneficiaries
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I take this opportunity to recognize the good work being done by all the Funds. I encourage you to continue ensuring effective, efficient, timely and prudent management of these funds for posterity.
As the Ministry in charge of women and youth, we guarantee that we will work with the various Boards of the Funds and ensure that these funds reach the target groups so that they can realize their full potential in accelerating the economic development of this country.
Lastly, I wish to conclude by reaffirming Government’s commitment towards ensuring that marginalized populations access opportunities that will enable them to realize their fullest potential.
I appeal to all beneficiaries to repay the loans promptly to enable more Kenyans to benefit as well as to ensure the sustainability of these programmes.
It’s now my honour to issue cheques to the beneficiaries.