Jua Kali sector seeks partnership with Nairobi Chamber
The Jua Kali Sector in Nairobi led by officials from Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA) has reached out to Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Nairobi County in a bid to find lasting solutions to problems facing the informal sector.
In a consultative meeting held in Nairobi on April 17, 2019, the officials described unsolved challenges that have hindered their businesses from thriving and prevented the sector from unlocking its potential.
The federation’s Secretary-General, Charles Kalomba said traders in Toi and Gikomba markets have incurred heavy losses as a result of frequent fire incidences that have been witnessed since the start of the year.
“This year, there have been two fire incidences at Nairobi’s Gikomba market which hosts more than 40,000 traders, among them Jua kali artisans. Last month, an early morning fire razed down a section of Kibra’s Toi Market destroying property worth millions of shillings,” he said.
Nairobi Chamber Chairman Richard Ngatia said the problem is mainly due to poor market infrastructure in Nairobi’s informal markets.
He said the chamber with support from Business Advocacy Fund (BAF), a private sector development project, has created a framework for modernization of informal markets by the Nairobi City County Government.
The federation’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Muteti said Jua Kali artisans on Ngong’ Road and their counterparts of Park Road Jua Kali Association have been issued with eviction notices on several occasions.
“Most Jua Kali artisans lack title deeds for pieces of land they have occupied for decades,” said the CEO.
He asked the county government and the Lands Ministry to prioritise the issuance of title deeds to traders.
Ngatia announced plans by the chamber of commerce to partner with financial institutions and investors to offer affordable loans and financial training.
He underscored that the Nairobi Chamber is involved in advocating for settlement of the rising pending bills by the Nairobi County Government which had impacted small traders.
The meeting was also attended by KNCCI – Nairobi CEO Nemaisa Kiereini who invited the sector players to partner with the Nairobi Chamber is advocating for modern markets.
The Jua Kali sector in Kenya is the leading in East Africa with an estimated 8.1million players according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The sector is currently involved in the big four agenda through the provision of affordable housing and manufacturing.