The KEPSA Gender and Youth Sector Board led by its chairperson Ms. Eva Muraya held its meeting on Wednesday, 8th April 2020 via Zoom with a focus on discussing the mitigation measures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the key highlights during the meeting were; updates from the working groups, Sector Board planning on response and capacity building of members during the crisis.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Muraya welcomed members to the first online meeting during the COVID-19 Pandemic, checking up on how members were fairing on while encouraging them to adapt and seize the opportunities presented by the pandemic.
The working groups reported that some of the planned activities in March and June 2020 were shelved due to the crisis. The ‘Why Women Matter’ forum that was to be held on 30th March 2020 and the Jersey Finance funded event on women in leadership planned for June 2020 were some of the activities that were put on hold.
Members agreed to continue planning for the upcoming annual Supplier Diversity Summit to be held in October 2020 as the situation permits.
On Youth Engagement and Entrepreneurship, members were informed that the plans for the creation of a youth hub were still underway with a concept note on the same being submitted to donors for possible funding.
Members were informed of a potential partnership with MasterCard Foundation for cushioning Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities- led/owned businesses and livelihoods against the negative impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This proposal aims at conducting a study, providing psycho-social support and business recovery services as a result of the pandemic.
Capacity building of the members was agreed to be a critical response for business coping strategies during and post the pandemic. This will ensure that the Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities- led/owned businesses survive, thrive and upscale during the crisis. A team of members from the Sector Board was put in place to plan for capacity enhancement of the members.
In conclusion, the Sector Board will be forging ways of championing approaches towards supporting the vulnerable businesses during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.