Magazine article African Business

Jua Kali Comes into the Shade

Magazine article African Business

Jua Kali Comes into the Shade

Article excerpt

Alarmed by the slow growth of the informal sector, the largest provider of employment, the Kenyan government has embarked on an ambitious Shs 40m training of micro and small entrepreneurs and their employees, in the new manufacturing sector programme.

The money, part of the Shs1.2bn World Bank loan in various currencies provided under the Micro and Small Enterprise Training and Technology Project, is intended to address the project's goal of enhancing entrepreneurial development in the private sector and reducing constraints to employment and income enhancement.

The programme, which started in October, is aimed at existing growth enterprises employing between one and 49 staff in the manufacturing sector in the small enterprises, and one to 10 staff in the micro-enterprises, and targets 60,000 artisans.

The most important aspect of the programme is a special package designed to train women who are keen to start manufacturing enterprises. This is the first time a project programme has emphasised introducing women to training for informal sector management.

According to Dr Robert Gichira, the director of the programme and a World Bank consultant, the programme is going to cover the whole country but will be implemented in phases. "Training in product and quality improvement will be in both technical and managerial skills up-grading (70% and 30% respectively) through the use of practical training programmes offered largely through enterprise based training. It is expected that the training will lead to a much needed improvement in the quality of products made by the Jua Kali sector, and together with other inventions work as a catalyst in the growth of the sector," he said. …

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