, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on women to be more aggressive in applying for government tenders which he says are still largely dominated by the men.
Speaking during a meeting with women entrepreneurs in Nairobi, the Head of State lamented that despite the government leaving 30 percent of procurement space to women and youth, the uptake is still very low.
He has however called on women leaders to come out and speak about their challenges that lead to them shying away from applying for these tenders and help seek solutions.
“We just need to see greater participation and appreciation because what we have seen and heard is that people get frustrated. But we would like you to come up and inform government of whatever challenges you are going through,” he said.
He has also urged Ministries and other State agencies to support local SMEs by procuring their products and desist from buying the same products in foreign countries.
“I don’t see the reason why we can keep purchasing things from outside when we have them here. I know most have done so which encourages corruption. We must support our local SMEs,” he insisted.
He says the government will in the meantime work closely with local banks to ensure that women easily access loans adding that up to date, a lot of them are still finding it hard to get credit due to lack of collateral.
The meeting with the Young Female Entrepreneurs on Tuesday was organized ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to be graced by US President Barack Obama.
“Ahead of Kenya hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, I am optimistic that this momentous occasion will be a game changing opportunity for your accelerating entrepreneurial innovation and wealth creation,” the President noted.
This will be first Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be held in sub-Saharan Africa between July 24 and 26 in Nairobi. It will also be the first time a sitting American President to visit Kenya