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Increase & Improve Productivity In Jua Kali To Create More Jobs For Our People - Chania.

Kiambu County TNA coordinator Gladys Chania Mwangi has called on both the government and the private sector to provide more robust interventions that will strengthen the informal sector saying that this would eventually lead to voluntary formalisation of businesses by entrepreneurs, which would be positive to the economy.

Speaking in Kenyatta Primary School in Makongeni, Thika while officially launching the "Kuza Mashinani” business Expo, Chania said that, being primarily the product of limited absorptive capacity of labour by the formal economy, the informal sector was refuge to millions of youth and women who could not otherwise make it into the formal sector.

“The formal economies of many countries in the developing world have benefited a very small percentage of the population, leaving the majority to subsist in the informal economy. The informal economy enables many people, particularly women to provide better quality lives for their families. I am happy in the government’s efforts to empower this sector through SMEs, provision of funds such as the UWEZO and Youth Funds and the 30% procurement policy in favour of the youth, women and persons with disabilities. But the impact of the same is not being felt in the grassroots as it is supposed to,” she said.

She therefore called for more involvement by the private sector who she appealed to supplement government’s efforts by supporting initiative that strengthened this sector especially among the marginalised and the poor people in the community.

“Unemployment remains high among youth and the adult population in this nation. The prominence of the informal sector will only stem from the opportunities it offers to the most vulnerable populations such as the poorest, women, youth and persons living with disabilities. Limited access to funds is the greatest factor curtailing the growth of the informal economy. I therefore call on the private sector and people of goodwill to facilitate the access to formal financing channels so as to encourage young informal entrepreneurs to shift towards more formal economic activities, thereby creating more jobs to our people,” she said.

She advised the youth to stop the over-reliance in white-collar jobs adding that they were so few compared to the demand for them.

“The jua kali sector, which is dominated by the youth and women, is currently contributing a lot into to the Kenyan economy but limited access to finances, unregulated markets and lack of capacity building is what is ailing the sector,” she added.

She called on the government and successful entrepreneurs to come up with a vigorous campaign to expose young people to such opportunities, introduce robust support and incentives for entrepreneurs and SMEs who supported the Jua Kali sector.

However, she cautioned against drug abuse and substance intoxication saying that that was the greatest threat to economic growth of the youth.

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