The KEPSA Gender and Youth sector board paid a courtesy call to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender Affairs, Prof. Margaret Kobia, who was accompanied by the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ms. Rachel Shebesh on 10th KEPSA was led by Ms. Eva Muraya, the Chair of the sector board; Ms. Rachel Muthoga, KEPSA Deputy CEO and Ms. Catherine Musakali, KEPSA Board Director.
In her remarks, Prof. Kobia appreciated KEPSA for meeting her, noting that it presents great opportunity for partnership in achieving the government’s agenda in women empowerment and youth agenda. She particularly lauded KEPSA for their work in highlighting the role of the private sector in meeting the sustainable development goals.
On her part, Ms. Muthoga introduced KEPSA and its mandate while highlighting the public private dialogue platform and some key achievements the sector board has had so far.
Ms. Muraya started by congratulating both Prof. Kobia and Ms. Shebesh for their appointment. She said the aim of the meeting was to understand the Ministry’s vision and identify areas of synergy. She further highlighted the sector board’s three running themes which include:
- Supplier diversity: there have been successes and challenges and two key areas especially on AGPO have been wanting: Measuring the value of uptake and weak cash conversion cycles leading to regrettable consequences. KEPSA is working through the sector board to advocate for inclusive supplier databases within the private sector in-order to begin opening the opportunities available for women-owned companies.
- Board Diversity: this should be entrenched from the public to the private sector including both levels of government.
- Youth Agenda: The youth bulge in Kenya is high hence the need to ensure it translates to youth engagement through both employment and skills building towards entrepreneurship.
In her response, Prof. Kobia noted the areas elucidated were key areas to achieving Vision 2030. She further highlighted the Ministry’s focus which is:
- Gender equality and women empowerment
- Women Leadership and participation
- Gender Planning and Budgeting
- Women in peace building
- Gender Based Violence
On her part, Ms. Shebesh emphasized the Ministry’s eagerness in working with different stakeholders and noted their task in ensuring implementation of the 2/3 gender rule, AGPO and gender mainstreaming. A key gap noted was the need for KEPSA to embrace women in the micro and small business sectors for the private sector’s voice to be louder as this would help towards achieving the Big 4 Agenda.
In conclusion, the Ministry and KEPSA agreed to strengthen the engagement structure with timelines and targets. Additionally, KEPSA would share areas of concern with the Ministry for ease of engagement and the two institutions will work jointly towards achieving the Big 4 Agenda.