The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to explore new avenues of directly supporting efforts aimed at empowering Kenyan women in business.
The commitment was made by the bank’s deputy director general Nnenna Nwabufo during a meeting with Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, on the sidelines of the ongoing Global Gender Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
Ms Nwabufo singled out capacity building activities for Kenyan women in business as one of the areas that the bank is keen on supporting.
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“We could do this through capacity building to enable women (Kenyan) to benefit from development projects implemented by the government in partnership with African Development Bank,” Ms Nwabufo said.
Ms Nwabufo, who heads AfDB’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery office, assured the First Lady that she is committed to ensuring that women in Kenya gain from the bank’s Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) projects.
The Kenyan First Lady welcomed AfDB’s commitment to partner with Kenyan women saying it will go a long way in transforming the lives of the beneficiaries.
She said the Beyond Zero initiative was open to act as one of the platforms through which the African Development Bank could directly engage women in the country.
This comes in the wake of an improving business environment for Kenyan who are being supported to enhance quality of their products.
The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) in collaborating with Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other organizations have partnered to provide support for women running small and medium-sized business to standardize and improve the quality of their products.
The partnerships has seen 13,500 beneficiaries trained by WEF receive technical guidance to improve their products ensuring they meet industry standards.
The government, specifically President Uhuru Kenyatta has been passionate about supporting women, youth and persons living with disability to access funds for business.
The President has been calling on the youth to take loans from the government affirmative action fund institutions to do business and create wealth and employment.
The government has set aside four national affirmative funds agencies namely the Women Enterprise Development Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund and National Government Affirmative Action Fund.