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Madaraka week exhibition themed Co-operatives and MSMEs Growth

This year’s Madaraka celebrations commemorating the country’s journey to self-governance were marked through a week long Exhibition held from May 26th to May 30th at the Embu University grounds focused on the significant role of Co-operatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The exhibition aimed to underscore the significant contributions of Co-operatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in driving economic growth and the national development aspirations of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). The expo included a variety of events, such as panel discussions and meetings with merchants and investors on the themes of housing, ICT and the digital economy, agriculture, MSMEs, and cooperatives, with a focus on encouraging local and regional buyer interest for Kenyan products. Throughout the exhibition, the showcased sectors were highlighted for their significant contributions to community transformation, individual empowerment, and the promotion of sustainable development, all of which play crucial roles in driving economic growth and development.

The exhibition was inaugurated by President William Ruto, who emphasized the importance of supporting MSMEs and enabling their participation in e-commerce activities to expand their businesses.

The President was accompanied by the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretaries Simon Chelugui, Moses Kuria, Eliud Owalo, Zacharia Njeru and Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire among other leaders.

H. E the President Dr. William Ruto accompanied by H.E the Deputy President Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, Embu Governor Hon. Cecily Mbarire, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs Development Hon. Simon Chelugui, Principal Secretary State Department for MSMEs Ms Susan Mang’eni and MSEA CEO Mr. Henry Rithaa among other dignitaries during the opening ceremony of the Madaraka week exhibition

Other notable guests during the week-long exhibitions were Prime Cabinet Secretary Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Hon. Mithika Linturi, Kirinyaga County Governor and Chairperson Council of Governors Hon. Anne Waiguru and Embu County Governor Hon. Cecily Mbarire

H. E the Prime Cabinet Secretary Hon. Musalia Mudavadi received by Commissioner for Cooperatives Development Mr. David Obonyo MSEA Board directors Eng. Charles Kalomba, Mr. Billy Baltazar, Mrs. Margaret Gitonga and Director General MSEA Mr. Henry Rithaa at the MSMEs and Cooperatives Expo.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Hon. Mithika Linturi, Kirinyaga County Governor and Chairperson Council of Governors Hon. Anne Waiguru and Embu County Governor Hon. Cecily Mbarire received by MSEA Embu/Tharaka-Nithi regional director Mr. Edward Munoru at the Ministry pavilion during the agriculture day celebrations at the Madaraka week MSMEs and Cooperatives Expo.

The exhibition concluded with a closing ceremony presided over by Cabinet Secretary for Co-operatives and MSME Development, Hon. Simon Chelugui. Joining him were Embu Governor Hon. Cecily Mbarire, Principal Secretaries from the State Department for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development, Ms. Susan Mang’eni, State Department for Co-operatives, Mr. Patrick Kilemi, and MSEA Director General, Mr. Henry Rithaa, among other esteemed dignitaries.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Co-operatives and MSME Development Hon. Simon Chelugui accompanied by Embu Governor Hon Cecily Mbarire, Principal Secretaries State Department for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Ms. Susan Mang’eni and State Department for Co-operatives Patrick Kilemi and MSEA Director General Mr. Henry Rithaa arriving for the Cooperatives and MSMEs day at the Madaraka week exhibition.

During the event, Principal Secretaries Susan Mang’eni and Patrick Kilemi participated in a thematic panel discussion, sharing valuable insights on harnessing opportunities for the development of cooperatives and MSMEs in Kenya.

PS Susan Mang’eni emphasized the State Department for MSME Development’s commitment to supporting MSMEs across all value chains. The department facilitates access to affordable financing, establishes market linkages for producers, and prioritizes skills development to enhance their competitiveness.

PS Patrick Kilemi highlighted the vital role of cooperatives in Kenya’s socio-economic development. He emphasized their contribution to the growth of the local economy, provision of business development services, and their role in promoting financial inclusion among various communities.

Governor Cecily Mbarire expressed Embu County’s intention to collaborate with the Ministry of Co-operatives and MSME Development. They plan to establish common user facilities for MSMEs and advocate for the harmonization of licenses and levies across counties, streamlining business operations.

CS Chelugui underscored the power of cooperatives and MSMEs in the market, emphasizing the need for aggregation. This approach ensures consistent quality and quantity of Kenyan products, making them readily available in both local and export markets. Furthermore, the Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs will collaborate with the Ministry of Trade to position MSMEs in international markets and facilitate bilateral engagements.

We thank all the organizers, partners, participants, and Embu County Government for making the event a success.

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