Thirty youth representatives from various groups across Kisumu sub counties attended a 5 day workshop on Financial Inclusion and Digital Literacy to enable them access affordable financial products from Equity Bank courtesy of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the County Government of Kisumu at the Acacia Premier Hotel.
Equity Group Foundation, the social arm of Equity Group Holdings, seeks to empower MSMEs through provision of financial literacy, entrepreneurship education and digital literacy training.
The project dubbed “Improving the Livelihoods and Protection of young women and men in Kenya and Response to Covid-19 and Floods challenges in Western Kenya” aims to support Young women and men in rural areas, and informal settlements to be empowered economically.
The training focused on strengthening the knowledge and skills of youth in Kisumu County on Financial inclusion and Digital literacy. It is also expected to aid their understanding about budgeting and debt management, insurance, financial services and bank products and digital literacy and how to use the digital space in promoting Agribusiness.
Speaking during the official closure of the workshop, the Chief Officer for Agriculture and Irrigation, Dr. Paul Omanga, challenged the youths to utilize the knowledge gained to create employment and to exploit opportunities along the agriculture value chains which forms 80% of the businesses in Kenya.
He reiterated that the youths must be attracted to Agribusiness through the digital space that will enable them access information on new farming technologies such as hydroponics and aquaponics for sustainable food production that will make the county food secure.
Pledging support by the county Government through creating an enabling environment, he called on the youths to develop good business plans that banks require for financial assistance and encouraged them to attend more of such trainings to find solutions to their financial challenges.
Dr. Omanga said the county government has already initiated talks with Maseno University on matters internship programmes that will assist farmers at the village level to increase their productivity. He added that the county plans to use the available technical vocational training centres to create model farms that showcase the new farming technologies; aquaponics and hydroponics for adoption by the locals and for bench-marking by other counties.
The facilitators included: Equity Bank Agribusiness experts, FAO and Digital Literacy trainer. Also in attendance were the top officials from the County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries.
By: Emily Mikwa