KEPSA Gender and Youth Sector Board led by its chairperson, Ms. Eva Muraya held the last sector board meeting of the year 2019 on 10th December 2019. The focus of the meeting was to take stock of the sector board’s progress in the year as well as start the plans for the year 2020.
Key of the achievements for the year was the supplier diversity summit held on 29th May 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel with an aim to bring together government, private sector and development partners to activate greater supplier diversification in driving inclusive business in Kenya thus ensuring that women, youth and Persons With Disability-owned enterprises are accessing procurement opportunities at all levels. Following this, the government committed to reigniting the efforts to streamline the implementation of Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) and payment of pending bills.
In January, the sector board paid a courtesy visit to the National Gender Equality Commission where a technical working Committee was formed to spearhead an overall research on SMEs and MSMEs and AGPO uptake. Plans towards this study are on course for it’s commissioning early 2020.
Through the Boards Diversity Working group, the sector board has been championing board diversity among NSE – listed and other Private Sector companies to ensure inclusive policies that seek to incorporate women, youth and Persons with Disabilities in leadership positions and in the boards.
The sector board also in liaison with the KEPSA Business Hub in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland conducted women in Business mentorship in March, May and September and a tax training conducted in October 2019. The forums sought to identify and address the challenges encountered by the women in business towards their empowerment and enhancement of their participation in the economy.
In preparation for 2020 sector board engagement, the members agreed to a working forum where they will draw their implementation framework to enhance the sector’s engagement with various stakeholders in line with its three main areas of focus i.e., Supplier Diversity, Board Diversity and Youth Engagement and entrepreneurship.
Separately, Ms. Eva Muraya, together with KEPSA PPD Specialist, Mr. Patrick Maingi met with a team from Shortlist led by the Co-founder, Mr. Simon Desjardins. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss areas of potential partnership in the implementation of the Off-Grid Talent Initiative (OGTI), a UK’s Department for International Development and the Carbon Trust funded initiative.
The overarching objective of OGTI is to improve skills and expertise of Africa talent and to facilitate the pursuit of careers in the off-grid energy sector through placing over 350 young entry-level professionals with employment opportunities in the off-grid energy sector across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next two years.
Ms. Muraya said that this would be a great opportunity for addressing youth unemployment, one of the key areas of focus for the Gender and Youth Sector Board, in a structured manner.