NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma has asked the government to avail information on Access to Government Procurement Opportunities programme-AGPO for youth, women and persons with disabilities saying beneficiaries are losing out on lucrative bids due to lack of information.
She made the remarks during an award ceremony for individuals and groups of youth and women entrepreneurs in the informal sector who have received training and seed capital from German and European Union donors under the ‘Fit for Life’ programme. During the ceremony, the entrepreneurs displayed their products that ranged from handicraft and processed beverages such as fruit juice and yoghurt.
Lichuma said the Commission is keenly monitoring the implementation of AGPO programme by the State even as it emerged that individuals and group entrepreneurs were grappling with the challenge of marketing their products.
Joyce Mwikali of New Vision Kenya, a group of women entrepreneurs based in Githurai, Nairobi appealed for capital to purchase a candle making machine to enable her group produce in bulk. “Currently the group faces lack of capital to inject into our ongoing projects and we are seeking the government’s support.” Said Mwikali.
However, Carol Mugo from the ministry of devolution and planning clarified that funds were available for all categories of groups under the youth enterprise fund, women enterprise fund and the Uwezo fund. “There appears to be an information gap on how to access these funds and this is making the beneficiaries to lose out” said Mugo.
“I’m disappointed that we have unique products that could fetch high prices both in the domestic and international market, yet information on how to market them seems unavailable” she added. Attributing the disconnect to the restructuring of government, Mugo clarified that county youth directors are now in charge of youth empowerment and marketing of products and directed groups and entrepreneurs to liaise with them.
Acting Director General Kenya Vision 2030 delivery secretariat Prof. Wainaina Gituro, who was the chief guest at the ceremony urged the entrepreneurs to utilize the skills they had learnt saying their efforts would finally pay off.
The 3 year ‘Fit for Life’ Project saw 36 people (33 women, 3 men, 3 PWDs) from 11 groups identified and trained in entrepreneurship and reproductive health. Training ranged on diverse issues in entrepreneurship, group formation and dynamics, leadership, networking and advocacy.
The overall prize of motorcycles worth Ksh 250,000/= and a trophy went to Demolly Community center while the second runners up prize of poultry hatcheries worth Kshs. 150,000 and a trophy went to Wonderful Ground self-help group. New vision Kenya Ngunguru dancers came third runners up with a prize of hair dressing products worth Kshs. 100,000 and a trophy.
Photo/ NGEC Chair Winfred Lichuma samples some of the products made by youth and women entrepreneurs
Avail procurement information, NGEC urges State