Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) is vouching for the nurturing of Africa’s young entrepreneurs and, Small Medium Entreprises for the stability of World economy.
Addressing participants during a one day seminar on promoting industrial development in Kenya, JICA representative in Kenya Ms Keiko Sano said the Government of Japan considered that helping Africa SMEs to flourish was not only crucial for Africa, but for global economy as well.
She said that micro-business and SMEs accounted for 95 per cent of firms in most countries, therefore the foundation of any long –lasting venture in Africa will depend on the continuous empowerment of regional SMEs and young entrepreneurs.
“SMEs are engines of growth vital to most economies”, said Ms Sano, “they create jobs, contribute to GDP and industrial development, satisfy local demand for services, innovate and support large firm with inputs and services”.
Ms Sano called on governments, private sector and international investors give SME’s priority in their plans. “Supporting them creates a ‘growing middle class’ with disposable income in tandem with market opportunities for new investors”, said she.
Speaking on the same occasion, the Director of Administration in the State Department for Trade Samson Wangusi cited inadequate basic skills in Business management and Entrepreneurship as major drawbacks in the growth and development of SMEs.
He called for concerted efforts in the promotion of innovation, incubation and business camps to enhance uptake among SMEs.
“Already, we are working with Technical and Vocational Education Institutions (TVETI) and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to come up with a curriculum to train manpower for the retail sector, more so supermarkets”, said Mr Wangusi.