Economic Inclusion of Youth and Women Through Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Kenya
Various economic actors play significant roles in promoting sustainable development globally, particularly through Sustainable Development Goal 8, which promotes sustained inclusive economic growth. The private sector is also incorporating inclusive business approaches into its cooperate strategies.
In Kenya as well as other countries around the world, however, the role of the private sector in supporting the Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) is not well documented. It is in this regard that the Economic Policy Analysis Unit of CIRES (CAPEC) in Cote d’Iviore, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and Laboratory of Quantitative Analysis SAHEL (LAQAD-S) in Burkina Faso are undertaking a research project on inclusive entrepreneurship with support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
The three organizations came together to launch the project in Kenya on 16th February 2018. Themed “Economic inclusion of youth and women through inclusive entrepreneurship”, the launch aimed at presenting the study concept to key stakeholders in order to get their inputs regarding the proposed study and to seek collaborative partnership among the stakeholders.
KIPPRA Executive Director Dr Rose Ngugi was on hand to welcome the visiting teams as well as the stakeholders. And while emphasizing the importance of inclusive economic growth in the African region, Dr Ngugi noted that knowledge on inclusive business is particularly critical for the Kenyan context to inform government policies on achieving the Big Four Agenda for the next five years. Dr Ngugi specifically thanked IDRC for supporting the project as well as two other research projects involving KIPPRA.
Prof. Alban Alphonse E. Ahoure, who is the Project Coordinator and Director of Economic Policy Analysis Unit of CIRES (CAPEC) Project Objectives and Implementation Plan, gave an overview of the project and called upon stakeholders to support the project. Prof. Ahoure said the need to formulate models capable of integrating vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa was a key motivation to undertake the study. He added that the main objective of the study is to analyze the contribution of inclusive business to the well-being of young people and women in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Kenya. Among the expected outcomes of the study include a desktop review, articles, policy brief, PhD theses and a general report.
KIPPRA Policy Analyst Nancy Laibuni provided an over overview of business/entrepreneurship in Kenya, which included the increasing employment in the informal sector as well as the declining employment opportunities in the formal sector. Ms Laibuni noted that women and youth are often the most economically disadvantaged.
George Osaso, the Deputy Director Directorate Youth Affairs, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Services made a presentation on key issues affecting inclusion of women and youth in economic activities in Kenya.
To officially launch the report was Planning Secretary Mr Joseph Mukui, who represented the PS, State Department of Planning. Mr Mukui assured KIPPRA and the research partners of the government’s support, adding that the findings would inform policies addressing inclusive business in the country.
Others who made comments and gave contributions during the event were Dr Flaubert Mbiekop (IDRC), Prof Lemma Senbet (African Economic Research Consortium), Dr Paul Otung (Department for International Development – DFID) and representatives from various organizations, including KenInvest, Tegemeo Institute, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, Central Organization of Trade Unions, universities and financial institutions.