The State Department for Gender Secretary, Ms. Faith Kasiva on Wednesday 14th October, 2020 attended a virtual #SupplierDiversitySummit2020 that was convened by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
The Summit sought to accelerate advocacy for greater supplier diversity for increased market linkages for more women, youth and Persons with Disability owned enterprises with the public and private sector and development agencies supply chains.
In her presentation, the Gender Secretary who represented the Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia, appreciated the great partnership between the Government and KEPSA in ensuring inclusive business in a conducive business environment. She noted that the Summit fits well within the Government’s goal in promoting the socio-economic wellbeing of women, youth and Persons with Disability in line with Vision 2030 which stipulates that gender, youth and vulnerable groups are among the six sectors that drive the socio-economic growth of our country.
Ms. Kasiva observed that the world at large including Kenya is going through extraordinary times due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the summit, therefore, was timely and significant given the adverse effects of the pandemic on small and medium enterprises. “As documented, a pandemic such as the COVID 19, deepens existing economic inequalities, seriously affects engagement in economic activities especially in the informal sector which is dominated by women. The Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Sector has experienced various challenges including; falling demands for goods and services, supply chain disruptions, the tightening of credit conditions among others,” she said.
The Chair of National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), Dr. Joyce Mutinda challenged the Government, human rights bodies, the private sector and the media to recognize supplier diversity and establish a reward system for organizations that achieve gender equality and equity in their supply processes.
In her conclusive remarks, the Gender Secretary noted that the objectives of the Supplier Diversity Summit and the actions thereof should ultimately determine and demonstrate the benefits of inclusive sourcing chains including economic recovery and survival strategy now and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Present at the virtual Summit were Nicholas Nesbit, Chair of KEPSA; Dr. Joyce Mutinda, Chair of National Gender and Equality Commission; Ms. Eva Muraya, Chair, Gender and Youth Sector Board, KEPSA; and Ms. Catherine Musakali, Gender and Governance Director, KEPSA.
By Jacqueline Kirimi & Catherine Kamau