II. Trade development,
III. cultural heritage and investments,
IV. Promote industrial development and entrepreneurship.
MILESTONES AND ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE MINISTRY
The contribution of the trade sub sector in the County’s economic growth, the challenges posed by lack of modern retail infrastructure and the realization of the County Government to address some of the challenges may not be overemphasized.
The department has invested in the construction and modernization of 14 markets. These markets before rehabilitation were characterized by congestion and overflow of traders onto the streets, pavements and inadequate storage space. The modern markets have provided the link between consumers
and sellers in a formal and regulated conducive environment as well as improving trade and investment in the county by increasing sales resulting effective consumerism attraction and spending more in the revamped stalls that now offer a comfortable well lit and clean environment; minimizing post-harvest losses and reducing health risks, and creation of more employment opportunities leading to reduction of poverty and hunger among other benefits.
Further Investment in modern retail markets shall largely improve supply chain of goods and services that will transform many informal businesses into formal ones leading to more organized trading environment.
Below are some of the County initiatives.
a) Kiserian market provides an excellent example of an efficient, affordable and reliable modern retail market under construction by the county.Situated in the populous agriculturally rich region of the county; the market has one large open shed and 36 lockable stalls that currently accommodate 500 traders. The market also boasts of modern sanitation and offloading facilities. On completion the market will accommodate a total of approximately 1500 traders.
b) Kajiado market rehabilitated to cater for the increased consumption of goods and services due to expanding middle class in the main urban centre of Kajiado. The market has 1 operational shed and several lockable stalls accommodating 300 traders. A modern toilet has also been constructed within the market while another one shed is under construction that will accommodate 200 traders. The county has undertaken complete electrification of the market which has enabled traders to transact their
business with relative ease.
Other markets that have been rehabilitated and are in use are Kimana, Loitoktok, Isinya, Embul Bul, and Rongai Markets.
The county has enhanced quality and quantity of output through the engagement of various investors and different sectors that would see the enhancement of revenue generation. This has been achieved through investor conference held in 2014 which resulted in additional medium and small enterprises coming into the county e.g service industry (anchor supermarkets), manufacturing, and financial sector amongst other sectors.
There has been an ongoing initiative to provide micro finance windows to start ups and developing SME’S which qualifies and meet specific threshold. This has been an ongoing intiative where traders has been advanced between Ksh.5,000/- to Ksh.100,000/-.This has resulted to expansion of businesses as well improved wages and livelihoods.
The County has been collaborating with various market players such as National Chambers of Commerce to Market their goods and services in markets they would otherwise have no connection to. This has resulted in the county goods and services being reachable in other regional and international markets. The county facilitated local women to market their
handicrafts in Botswana in the financial year 2015/2016.
The county conducted capacity building training to MSME’ s in order to improve their entrepreneurial marketing as well as their managerial skills. The training not only equipped the MSME’s with entrepreneurial skills but also developed their potential capacity in acquisition of knowledge and managerial skills in their respective businesses. This resulted in the growth and development of their respective business.
The county facilitated exhibitions which led to the widening of business opportunities in the area of supply of products and services. This has led to increased visibility of local suppliers among potential business partners through networking from the exhibitions held both locally, regionally and internationally.
The county has been positioned as a tourist destination through various tourism promotion activities like sports and tourism activities. There has been engagement with National government to look at ways of marketing the county as a tourist destination on areas such as the Amboseli National Park.
In line with the consumer protection act the Ministry through the Weights and Measures department has enhanced uniformity in the weighing and measuring equipment for business in order to wade off unscrupulous traders taking advantage of consumers.
Investment in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.
But they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation.
Gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. It curtails access to economic assets such as land and loans. It limits participation in shaping economic and social policies. And, because women perform the bulk of household work, they often have little time left to pursue economic opportunities.
Many women in the county do a lot of bead work either for fun or for commercial purposes;
It is also a cultural practise that was done in the past where women were expected to put on 4 particular beads for certain occasions, the women also made bead ornaments for their husbands and children.
The county government can tap into this rich culture in collaboration with the national government initiative of USHANGA KENYA. The Government of Kajiado County will train women to form groups where they can produce these beads and help them market their beads within and outside the county.
The county can also improve the conditions of the women selling beads around the parks by ensuring the following:-
- They construct sheds where these women can sale their wares with dignity instead of chasing tour vans.
- Ensure that the tour companies have an agreement to stop at the shades for the tourist to see the merchandise.
- Train these women on presentation and packaging of their merchandise.
- Help the women do market research on the latest designs that the market is demanding
- Provide uniform for all the women selling merchandise for easy identification.
Cultural bomas are homes found mostly around Amboseli national park where Maasai men and women come with their families to entertain tourists who visit the park so as to earn a living from the little hand outs they get from them. They also sale beads and other ornaments to the visiting tourists.
The main problem in this bomas is that tour guides and drivers take advantage of the community and pay very little to them, the little received goes to the men and the women end up earning very little or nothing.
The county government can intervene in this case by first ensuring that:-
- That the homes have management committees that women are represented so that when decisions are made the women also benefit.
- Ensure that tour guides don’t interfere with the prices of items and charges in the bomas.
- Train the women on how to make products that are in season and attract tourist not the ordinary once.
- Train them to package the cultural dances that the tourist can pick one item at a time and pay for it and not just few shillings for a whole cultural experience.
- The county government can help them by doing documentaries that will advertise the homes and other cultural sites in the county.
- The county government can do a research on the local herbs which have become a major hit to the local tourists and train the communities on how to get approval from the necessary government agencies and be able to market them.