By James Wakahiu
More than 1, 000 youth will benefit from a Sh50 billion technical training support and market linkages under an entrepreneurship programme dubbed 2jiajiri by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in collaboration with Bidco Oil Refineries Limited.
Under the partnership, KCB will offer the technical capacity building and Bidco will provide a guaranteed market for the entrepreneurs’ products across identified value chains.
As a result over 900 youth will have the skills and expertise needed to enter and grow ready markets such as sunflower, soya beans and oil seed.
“As private sector players, we have synergies to be shared through partnerships and collaborations with others in order to assist the country to develop its economy and tackle youth unemployment,” said Jane Mwangi, KCB Foundation Marketing Director.
Ms. Mwangi said that to further enhance this partnership, KCB foundation will provide field based competency skilling of youths in the fields of agriculture, construction, beauty and personal services, automobile and domestic services.
The partnership will see Bidco offer internship opportunities to over 1,500 2jiajiri beneficiaries over the next 5 years. Ms. Mwangi said the 2jiajiri programme is informed by the belief that the youth hold the key to building a stronger and better country.
“It is this conviction that led us to develop a programme that strategically engages the youth in a way that will propel them to be self-reliant, productive citizens with visions of brighter future not only for themselves but for generations to come,” said Ms. Mwangi.
Vimal Shah, the Chief Executive Officer at Bidco Africa said the partnership with KCB will provide the youth with direct access to markets and eliminating middlemen. “Farmers need access to markets and not handouts. We thus need to convert farmers to agri-preneurs because this is the only way that the economic standards can be transformed,” said Shah.