The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is expected to create 1 million direct and 500, 000 indirect jobs between now and 2024.
Through the bank’s 2jiajiri programme, the 5-Year nationwide plan will be implemented through the KCB Foundation, the social investments arm of KCB Group.
The programme has secured KShs10 billion (USD100 million) funding from the MasterCard Foundation for scaling up 2jiajiri programme that seeks to empower youth entrepreneurs for job creation.
MasterCard extended the funding under its MasterCard Foundation’s Young Africa Works programme which was launched yesterday in Nairobi on June 20 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Growing Africa’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
Kenyatta said Africa has to invest more in its youth for it to become a continent of hope and prosperity.
He promised to host a summit on jobs to engage directly with young people each year keep promising to keep up the momentum to create more jobs for the youth in Kenya.
“I commit to hosting an annual Jobs Summit which will engage young people, partners and all stakeholders to take stock of progress and advance action to increase the quality and quantum of jobs available to our young people,” said the President.
Young Africa Works in Kenya is a public-private partnership between MasterCard Foundation, the government of Kenya and the private sector.
The initiative is expected to enable five million young people to access dignified work through expanding technical, vocational and work readiness skills that are critical to economic growth.
KCB Foundation is one among seven beneficiaries in Kenya of this ambitious KShs30 billion (USD300 million) commitment by the MasterCard Foundation in 10 African countries to grow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The programme will scale-up the existing 2jiajiri programme by providing technical training, Business Development Services, access to finance and linkages to structured markets through an ecosystem approach.
“For 2jiajiri, the initiative will focus on providing technical training to 114,000 beneficiaries from Micro and Small Enterprises in the three economic sectors of Agriculture, Manufacturing and Construction in Kenya, in line with the Government’s Big 4 Agenda,” said KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara.
Agribusiness, manufacturing and construction sectors
He added, “One of the priorities this year is to drive business growth while contributing to the economic growth of all the markets we operate in. At the same time, we have focused on delivering impact to our communities through the KCB Foundation.”
Under the partnership, KCB Foundation will collaborate with over 20 partners in the agribusiness, manufacturing and construction sectors.
This programme will be implemented in the three phases of 2jiajiri that encompass technical training, incubation where enterprises will access capital and Business Development Services and formal linkages to mainstream markets for the entrepreneur and labour markets for the skillers.
KCB Foundation Managing Director Jane Mwangi said, “This programme is premised on the fact that micro, small and medium enterprises in the informal sector make a significant yet under-acknowledged contribution to national economies in the East African region generally and for Kenya in particular.”
“We are keen on capitalising on the existing strengths and opportunities in the informal sector so as to create more jobs and absorb greater numbers of youth within a shorter timeframe,” added Mwangi.
Training for MSMEs, digital jobs in Kenya
Kenyatta said this public-private partnership programme brings together MasterCard Foundation, Kenyan banks and the government to support job creation by supporting SMEs to the tune of more than KShs100 billion.
The Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Kenya platform aims to work closely with technical colleges and linking the youth to the job market.
He added that the programme will also create jobs by supporting MSMEs through access to funds and training.
The President said the programme will also work hand in hand with the government’s Ajira programme to create opportunities for online jobs for the youth.
“Kenya is on the verge of a digital transformation and this programme will catalyse the creation of new and quality jobs across the entire country,” said the President.
The programme will also enhance the creation, growth, sustainability and productivity of over 200,000 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
Kenyatta said the programme is timely since it is coming as Africa is on the cusp of an economic transformation with the adoption of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which will provide a common marketplace for over 1 billion people.
He said the common market arrangement will create enormous opportunities for Africa’s youth who are full of energy and innovative ideas.
Kenyatta called on Africa’s leaders to make continental integration a reality because it will create more avenues for economic growth and social integration.
“Socio-economic integration of the African people is the greatest task of our time and our generation,” said Kenyatta.