Dr. Kituyi: Support women to fight poverty

By Nicholas Nduati

Kenya needs to change tact on cross border trade as well as women economic empowerment approach by realigning the strategies on sustainable business models.

United Nations Conference on Trade Secretary General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi says financial institutions should focus on financing women led businesses not as a corporate social responsibility but as a sustainable business model and to fight poverty.

Statistics indicate that women spend 90 percent of their income on their families and community which is more than double the amount spend by men on the same.

Small and Medium Enterprises are estimated to contribute approximately 1.4 trillion shillings to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product in the process accounting for close to 50% of the jobs in the country.

Although 48 percent of the 2.3 million SMEs in Kenya are owned by women, their businesses tend to occupy the lower end of the segment leaving the more lucrative sectors such as export to men.

According to United Nations Conference on Trade Secretary General Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the continued focus on male dominated businesses such as exports that has left women with small scale entrepreneurial ventures is not a sustainable business model for the country.

According to the World Bank, women spend about 90 percent of their income on their families and community which is more than double the 40 percent that men spend on the same.

Dr. Kituyi says financial institutions should focus on financing women led businesses not as a corporate social responsibility but as a sustainable business model and to fight poverty.

He says even though Kenya has liberalized trade, some contentious policies such as allowing import of commodities that can be produced locally is putting pressure on the affected Kenyans, which is not good for the country.

  

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