Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa
The US has launched an economic empowerment program targeting Kenyan female entrepreneurs.
The US will initially invest Sh300 million in Kenyan women-owned businesses under the White House's Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).
The three-year initiative, which will see the US spend Sh3.2 billion in commercial investment and finance for women entrepreneurs in Kenya, was launched in Nairobi on Monday by American Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter and visiting acting USAID Administrator John Barsa.
"Women must be full participants and leaders in business for Kenya to reach its full economic potential. USA Marafiki recognizes that economic prosperity is essential to Kenya’s future and our top priority is supporting expanded trade and investment ties between our two countries," Amb. McCarter said during the launch.
On his part, Barsa indicated that the initiative aims at bridging the economic gap between men and women.
“Global prosperity will remain out of reach if we exclude half the population. At USAID, we believe investment in women is key to unlocking human potential on a transformational scale,” Barsa said.
He added: “The W-GDP Fund at USAID is financing innovative solutions to close the economic gap between women and men and help our partners advance on their Journeys to Self-Reliance.”
Under the initiative, women will be trained on how to expand their businesses and form direct connections to US small and medium enterprises.
It will also help Kenyan women to overcome digital access challenges and assist them to enter traditionally male-dominated fields such as energy and water.