The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has today launched the County Empowerment Program aimed at strengthening chamber activities in the country’s 47 counties.
The chamber is expected to build capacity of KNCCI county chapters that have demonstrated the ability and have the potential for growth through the program.
Meanwhile, KNCCI’s national office will then develop criteria to select a certain number of counties to benefit from the program in four phases.
It is also expected that the program will promote membership growth in the grassroots and enhance partnerships with the county governments and other key development partners.
According to the Principal Secretary, State Department of Investment and Industry in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Betty Maina, the government will continue to support the Chamber as this will not only have a catalytic impact on overall economic growth, but also amplify the Chamber’s global outreach efforts.
“To enable it to serve as a focal point for the private sector the government will be seeking to empower the chamber of Commerce with the resources it needs to effect the necessary reforms needed to make it more effective, efficient, accountable and transparent in its decisions,” Betty Maina said adding that the empowerment program is designed to address various challenges affecting the county chapters including lack of visibility at the counties, low membership recruitment, inadequate resources and staffing.
In the first phase 10 county chambers have been identified. They include Kwale, Mandera, Meru, Makueni, Migori, Murang’a, West Pokot, Kakamega, Bomet, Lamu.
“The County Empowerment Program will enable the emergence of strong chapters that can spearhead improvement in county business environments, increase investments at county level, enhance networking and improve information channels for better decision making. Consequently, there will be more counties where business can thrive,” said KNCCI National Chairman Kiprono Kittony.
KNCCI was re-launched in 2014 and now has a countrywide outreach with 47 County Chapters whose membership constitutes the small, medium and large enterprises across different sectors of the economy. The organisation is a not-for-profit, autonomous private sector institution and Business Membership Organization (BMO) established in 1965.