By Jacquiline Wahu
The International Women’s Day was feted a day earlier in Kenya as women entrepreneurs convened at a conference in Nairobi organized by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) under its Women in Business sector.
The event was graced by H.E. Governor Ann Waiguru who is not only among the only three women governors elected to the office, but also the first female deputy chairperson of Council of Governors. In her speech, she urged the government and Kenyans at large to support women initiative in business, politics or any other venture they uptake.
Emphasizing on transforming women lives through rural and urban activists, the governor shared her initiatives during the few months in office that have kicked off to support women in her county under the umbrella initiative dubbed Wezesha Mama Program. Through this program, women access procurement opportunities to avail products from their craftsmanship.
While she encouraged business between counties, Ms Waiguru enlightened the women on the importance of properly branding their enterprises to attract in investors. This coincided with the launch of Women in Business Magazine which is a great platform for women to advertise their enterprises to a potential audience as well share their struggles and success stories.
A call to action was made by the Deputy Chair CoG to deliberately bring solutions and fresh ideas that will empower women. Being a champion in fighting for women empowerment, Ann Waiguru is notable for rolling out Huduma Centres in Kenya while she was the Devolution CS which has simplified access to documentation required by entrepreneurs especially while starting a business among other services.
“Let us strive to be the best we can as the world is looking up to us.” She called upon women in her closing remarks.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa was among the few supportive men who attended the event. Together with Governor Waiguru, he played a significant role in ensuring 30% of Access to Government Procurement Opportunity was reserved for women.
The CS applauded women for fighting for everything they have got as he acknowledged that they deserve all the opportunities at their disposal and more. He also extended an olive branch to the vice chair CoG to work together in ensuring that women are empowered across the 47 counties.
KNCCI Chairperson, Mary Muthoni confirmed the chambers solidarity with the President of Kenya so that together they can bring out successful sisters in industries like manufacturing, construction, food security among others. She encouraged women to pride in their projects to inspire more women to start their own enterprises.
Women were unanimously encouraged to tap into the manufacturing industry to avail locally made products and even produce enough for export.
The women who had converged to celebrate International Women’s Day own enterprises in various fields including real estates, tours and travel, security, manufacturing, construction, logistics companies and agri-business just to mention a few.