The World Bank has earmarked a substantial Sh23 billion in funding to bolster micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya, paving the way for approximately 45,000 Kenyans to secure new employment opportunities. This financial injection comes through the approval of the Kenya Jobs and Economic Transformation Project (KJET), a pivotal initiative that aims to amplify private sector investments, enhance market access, and promote sustainable finance to foster job creation and improvement.
A focal point of the project involves catering to the needs of 6,800 women within the MSME value chain. The government underscores its commitment to the JET agenda, aligning it with overarching strategies such as Vision 2030, the fourth Medium-Term Plan (MTP4, 2023-2027), and the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda, all designed to diversify job creation approaches.
Collaboratively, the government and the World Bank envision the project’s potential to galvanize a substantial Sh4 billion ($27 million) in private capital, supplementing their Sh23 billion investment. Ahmed Rostom, the World Bank’s senior financial sector specialist and KJET task team leader, elaborated on the project’s multifaceted interventions. These include streamlined licensing processes, improvements in investment-related legislation, regulations, and strategies, as well as bolstered government capacity for investor outreach and government-to-business service delivery. These initiatives collectively aim to fortify the business and investment landscape in Kenya.
Under the purview of the State Department for MSME Development (MSME) and the State Department for Investment Promotion (Trade), the project’s comprehensive approach seeks to address existing challenges in the job market. The World Bank’s analysis highlights a concentration of jobs in sectors with low labor productivity, emphasizing the imperative to catalyze job creation within the MSME sector—an integral contributor to Kenya’s economic fabric. The Kenya Jobs and Economic Transformation Project emerges as a catalyst for positive change, aiming not only to inject substantial funds but also to institute structural enhancements that will resonate throughout Kenya’s economic landscape.