The youth in Kilifi County have been urged to register in groups and utilise the enterprise development fund allocated by the national government to develop their businesses and create sources of income for themselves.
According to the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Coordinator Kilifi County Mary Wambua, the youth kit has about Sh12 million that could help the young people but the money has not been utilized.
She further noted that out of the abundant funds available, only 15 groups of youth have benefited from the resource amounting to Sh3 million, and urged more youth to come forward and apply.
Speaking during the issuance of a Sh1 million cheque to eight youth groups at Kilifi North Deputy County Commissioner’s office in Kilifi yesterday, Wambua said they are giving training to young people on how to run business, manage the money and pay off their loans before giving them the loans.
“During the training period, we remind the groups that the funds offered are a loan and that it is to be repaid,” she said.
Kilifi North Deputy County Commissioner Geofrey Tanui, who presided over the cheque issuance exercise further insisted that youth should seize every opportunity and venture into projects using the funds.
He further stated that the vetting process is followed to ensure the groups can repay the funds before the loan is awarded to the youth group and should be seen as a process, not a discouragement.
“I urge the youths to join groups and apply for the loans as this will reduce the level of unemployment in the county and promote development in day-to-day activities,” he said.
Tuinuane Juu Youth Group Representative Mwanamtama Said expressed her joy after receiving the youth loan of Sh 100,000, saying this is the second time they have benefitted from the youth fund.
She said that with the loan, her group members will expand their projects which include chicken farming, and the Mpesa business among others.
“I did not have any source of income but we formed a group and started with chicken farming and later stone cutting and Mpesa project in 2020. The project has improved my status in society,” she said.
Imara Youth Group leader Peter Mwalele said that they started their project in 2021 and have been keeping broilers, adding that the loan award was a dream come true. “We have been seeing other people benefiting from the loan fund and hoped that we would also be lucky in the future,” he said.
He added that they have a market for their chickens and that the demand for chickens has improved because of the rise of population in Kilifi, especially around Pwani University.
By Jackson Msanzu