Thursday, 30 November 2017 08:04

SEVEN COUNTY GOVERNMENTS TAKE UP USHANGA KENYA INITIATIVE

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Excellency Governors led by the Chairman, Council of Governors, H.E Josphat Nanok attended the inaugural Ushanga initiative consultative meeting at Sankara Hotel on 27th November 2017. The meeting which was chaired by Cabinet Secretary, Tourism Najib Balala, resolved that Deputy Governors will be the team leaders in the counties with the CECs Tourism being the deputy team Leaders.
The Initiative will also have County coordinators, who will then be assisted by two Ushanga Women Representatives and Chief Officers from Finance, Gender and culture to ensure that the Initiative is successful in the counties. Also in attendance were Chairman of the Tourism and Wildlife Committee, H.E Samuel ole Tunai (Narok County), Governor Baringo County, H.E Stanley Kiptis, Deputy Governor Marsabit County, H.E Solomon Riwe and Deputy Governor Kajiado County, H.E Martin Moshisho. All Excellency Governors and Deputy Governors speaking during the meeting supported the initiative. They noted that they will work to ensure that the project is fully implemented. H.E Nanok noted that the Ushanga initiative is indeed a good project that would uplift the communities. H.E Samuel ole Tunai said: “I fully support the initiative. In fact it’s meant to have some earlier as especially in my county, the women who get to sell their beadwork to many tourists outside the Masai Mara and indeed if a market can be created to uplift their business why not.” Governor Baringo County, H.E Stanley Kiptis stated that Baringo County to host the CS Tourism, Najib Balala for the sensitization day scheduled between 13th-16th December, 2017. The Ushanga Kenya Initiative is aimed at job creation and transformation of the living standards of the women from pastoralist communities through commercialization of beadwork which has otherwise been a traditional activity with no significant economic benefits to the communities.
The initiative seeks to strengthen business and production capacity for women from pastoralists communities as well as improve their competitiveness of beads products in local, regional and international markets for sustainable livelihoods.
The initiative touches on seven counties namely, Baringo, Marsabit, Narok, Kajiado, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot. An Ushanga Kenya Steering committee was formed to assist in the implementation of the initiative. The committee comprises of the Chairperson Mrs. Hellen Nkaissery, the Council of Governors, Principal Secretaries from Tourism, State Department of Culture and the Arts, State Department of Cooperatives, State Department of Gender Affairs and Principal Administrative Secretary from the Office of the Deputy President.
The role of the County Governments in this initiative is to recognize and mainstream Ushanga Initiative as county flagship Programme; Entrench framework from implementation, monitoring and budgetary framework; Mobilize and form women groups; Build capacity to enhance value and support infrastructure for the groups. In order to achieve this, several activities have been lined up which include; Awareness and ownership creation on the cultural and economic value of the bead and the Initiative, mobilization of pastoral women engaged in bead industry, capacity building of the pastoral women in the bead industry, infrastructure provision, product development and growth of the bead industry and marketing and sales of the beads industry. County visits have currently been scheduled in the 7 respective counties scheduled to take place between 4th December 2017 and 3rd February 2018.

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