United Bank for Africa (UBA) Kenya, in partnership with the State Department of Devolution and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, today launched the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Seed Capital for Kenyan entrepreneurs that will see them supported in growing their ideas into flourishing businesses.
Principal Secretary (PS) in the State Department of Devolution in the Office of the Deputy President, Teresia Malokwe, said the initiative will be a key driver in the growth of the SME sector and the youth innovation agenda in the country.
PS Malokwe said the launch of the initiative in Kenya comes at a time when there are efforts by the government to grow and support small businesses with the aim of boosting the economy of the country.
“SMEs are key drivers of the Kenyan economy, employing about 86 percent of Kenyans and contributing about 45 percent to the country’s GDP,” Malokwe said.
Speaking during the launch of the credit facility at a Nairobi hotel, the PS termed the partnership an opportunity to empower the general citizenry with skills, knowledge and appropriate attitudes as catalysts for sustainable development.
She further said that the interventions directly support two Kenya Kwanza (KK) Manifesto priority pillars which are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) economy and the Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy.
“Their implementation is a shot in the arm to the national government towards the realization of KK priority objectives especially; bringing down the cost of living, eradicating hunger, creating jobs and promoting inclusive growth,” said Malokwe.
“UBA’s commitment to sustainability and protection of the environment resonates well with President Ruto’s tree planting initiative to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 in an effort to combat the effects of climate change in the country,” she added.
The PS assured of the Government’s commitment to continually seek and engage with partners to mobilize resources to enhance service delivery in order to ensure that devolution works.
“The State Department has a commitment to support and consolidate the gains made in order to strengthen devolution. She has done this by forging working relationships with like-minded development and private partners like UBA,” said Malokwe.
She at the same time urged the County Executive Committee Members (CECMs) to enhance uptake of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s young African Entrepreneurship initiative by creating awareness in their counties before the 31st March deadline for this year to take advantage of the opportunity availed by the Foundation to enhance job creation and development in their counties.
By Hamdi Mohamud