Safaricom Foundation hosts economic empowerment forum

The Safaricom Foundation today hosted over 50 of its partners in a dissemination forum to share experiences on how to manage and run sustainable economic empowerment projects.

The Forum comes at an opportune time when concerted efforts from foundations, corporate organizations and the Government are required in order to avert similar situation which saw thousands of Kenya suffer from drought and famine.

At the Forum, the Safaricom Foundations partners, Enablis East Africa and WEMA centre highlighted their successful models of economic empowerment and entrepreneurship projects.

Hon. Ndiritu Murithi, Asst. Minister in the Ministry of Industrialization and the chief guest during the event, noted that finance, technical assistance and market are essential to the growth of any small business.

“The government is committed to ensure that all small businesses prosper. So far, we have opened outlets in every county which will ensure that that young business get adequate access to loans and other material needs,” said Ndiritu.

Over the past years, Safaricom Foundation has held similar dissemination forums, although these ones drew partners from a cross section of our thematic areas including education, health, economic empowerment, sports and humanitarian assistance among others.

“Our work in on economic empowerment involves partnering with communities and community groups to implement activities that contribute towards self sufficiency through income generation, food security, vocation training and in employment creation,” noted Nzioka Waita, Safaricom Foundation Trustee.

“It’s because of the feedback that we received from participants in the previous forums that we considered bringing together partners in the economic empowerment area to share and learn from each others experiences, especially at this time when some of our communities from drought stricken areas are in dire need for food, water and material support,” noted Waita

One of the Millennium Development Goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. This means that it is imperative for all sectors – the corporate, civil society and government to collaborate on income generation, food security, job creation and poverty alleviation initiatives.

Mr. Waita noted that the Foundation recognizes that a large number of Kenyan population survives on less than a dollar per day stressing that its response has been to initiate initiatives that will enable our fellow Kenyans achieve full and productive employment.

Mr. Bob Collymore, Safaricom Limited’s CEO, echoed Mr. Waita’s words and ensured participants that the Foundation is committed to partnering with communities to improve their quality of life.

Noting the importance of supporting small businesses, Mr. Collymore acknowledged that informal businesses provide more employment opportunities compared to formal businesses.

“I am grateful to the Foundation for the seeing how important it is to support these initiatives. What we have seen here today is a clear indication that there is a lot of innovation locally, which needs to be supported and funded,” said Collymore.

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