Busia County Government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) aimed at changing the socio-economic status of women, youths and persons living with disabilityies.
Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong who signed the MOU on behalf of the county urged women to seize the empowerment opportunity the partnership deal will provide.
He said gone are the days when people relied on the government and elected leaders for handouts and other false promises.
“Currently it is your handwork that will save you. In today’s Kenya let no one lie to you that the President, Governor, Member of Parliament or the Member of County Assembly will bring food to your home,” he said.
“You must come out and make use of the empowerment programmes the national and county governments are offering. WEF is here and is giving interest free loans to groups and at one per cent interest to Saccos,” he said.
“This is money you have been given free of charge in comparison to exorbitant bank loans,” he said.
He noted that the major challenge facing people at the grassroots is lack of capital to start up businesses and improve their agricultural activities.
He expressed optimism that the coming of WEF into the county to add on into the various programmes the county is availing in the agricultural and cooperatives sector will tremendously transform the county in the near future.
Women Enterprise Fund Chairperson Commissioner Njoki Kahiga said under the partnership deal, their intention is to change the livelihood of women, create wealth and employment opportunities for women, youths and people living with disabilities in Busia County.
“If we support the women like we are doing under WEF, we are very hopeful that we shall be able to improve the status of Busia and the economy of the country,”she said.
She said WEF is now ready to move to the grassroots where women are in order to mobilise, sensitise and market their products. “You empower a woman, you empower a family and you empower a nation,” she said.
What the women are doing at the grassroots is very important. Without it the county cannot grow and without the county growing the country cannot grow as well.
Kahiga promised beneficiaries of the Fund across the country that WEF is committed, willing and is able to hold them by the hands and ensure they arrive at their dream destinations.
The fund’s Chief Executive Officer, Charles Mureithi said a total of over Sh289million has been disbursed to Busia groups since the inception of the fund with groups from Matayos and Teso North Sub County leading with Sh67million and Sh58.8 million respectively.
Busia County Trade Executive, Judith Maketso urged Women groups across
the county to work towards their transformation into Saccos to enable them access more funding noting that that the current ceiling for groups is Shs.1million while for Saccos is Shs.10million.
Women Enterprise Fund is a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency in the Ministry of Public Service, and Gender established in August 2007, to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women start and/or expand business for wealth and employment creation.
This is under the Kenya Government’s commitment to the realization of sustainable development goals on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (SDG 5).
By Melechezedeck Ejakait