, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – The Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning Anne Waiguru has welcomed the amendment to the Uwezo Fund Regulations allowing for the annual replenishment of the fund.
Waiguru said this will allow a greater number of women and youth to become economically empowered beyond the Sh6 billion the national government had initially set aside for the fund.
“We’ve finally managed to get Parliament to actually approve an annual allocation to the Uwezo Fund which is fantastic,” she told the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.
It was another win for the Executive when House Speaker Justin Muturi struck out the amendment that would have required the Executive to allocate at least one percent of its revenue to the fund.
Waiguru however took issue with the fact that the funds set aside for capacity building will now be disbursed at the constituency level and not regionally.
“Unfortunately now I’m not able at all to control capacity building of Uwezo. We had put the money at the Ministry so that we can partner with institutions but from what we understand in Parliament, the resources have been reallocated completely to the constituencies,” she lamented.
Meanwhile, in line with the government policy that 30 percent of government procurement needs should be met by women and youth, Waiguru is now working at ensuring 30 percent of the business delegations that accompany President Uhuru Kenyatta abroad are women.
“I know sometimes you will say maybe they will not be able to meet the target depending on the country but we will seek to do that,” she said.
Also on the subject of international markets, Waiguru said the Kenyan government is working toward opening up the American market to Kenya’s horticultural sector.
“We raised it during the launch of the new Boeing 777-300 that if that it can fly 14 hours and it’s a brand new aircraft then maybe the US will consider letting us have direct flights,” she explained.
The Uwezo fund was set up earlier this year by President Uhuru Kenyatta with the money that had been set aside for the Presidential runoff that was un-necessitated.