Youth and Women groups in Nairobi on Wednesday received cheques worth Sh 176.5million as an empowerment kitty.
The cheques were issued by Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu and Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Rachel Shebesh.
The funds include Sh61.5million women fund, Sh59 million as Uwezo funds and Sh 56 million for youths.
A total of 209 groups from all the 85 wards will benefit from the funds which are geared towards promoting entrepreneurship in the informal and formal settlements in the capital city.
Ms Kananu announced that the county government will boost the initiative by continuously allocating 30% of procurement opportunities to youths, women and people with disabilities. She also directed the finance, devolution and youth departments to work on modalities through which the county will set aside a kitty for youths and women.
“We must realize that by supporting our women and youths to get more opportunities as entrepreneurs, we will be eliminating crime and creating more jobs,” she said.
On her part, Shebesh challenged elected and nominated leaders in Nairobi to bring on board more groups to maximize on the uptake of the funds from the ministry.
“We must take advantage of this fund and the only way is for all leaders to work closely with the government so that we can reach as many youths as possible,”
Her sentiments were echoed by ICT, youth and innovation CAS Nadia Ahmed Abdalla who lamented the low rate at which youths are applying for government funds.
“ The young people must emulate the women who look more organized so that we can all take advantage of the various empowerment funds the government is giving out,”
The event was also attended by Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohamed Badi who promised to ensure that the agency embraces the government’s policy of giving equal opportunities to young entrepreneurs.
Also present were Nairobi MPs and MCAs from across the political divide in the county.
The leaders urged Nairobi youths and women to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga in their bid to unite the country and create more opportunities for youths through the Building Bridges Initiative.