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MSEA held its first National consultative meeting with MSE sector leaders from different associations to align the needs of the sector and explore areas of support and partnerships. Some of the leaders present were; Richard Muteti, Kenya National Juakali Federation, Mbugua Kimani and Muthama Nganga of Market Traders Association, John Kihiu, Chairman of Confederation of Micro and Small enterprises, Joseph Kisoro, Federation of Juakali Associations at Racecourse, Anthony Kwache of Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders, Mr. Mbugua of the Kenya National Hawkers Association and Kimani Wa Nduthi, Chairman of Bodaboda Association and MSEA Board Directors Humphrey Njoroge and Isaac Mbingi.MSEA Board Chairman Mr. James Mureu appreciated the support and inventions the Government has undertaken through the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.  These interventions that are implemented through the Authority, have enabled establishment of decent work spaces through the infrastructural projects like the Constituency Industrial Development Centers (CIDCS) spread across the counties. Others include the establishment of cold storages to curb post-harvest losses, renovation of Juakali worksites and modern markets through MSEA that have enabled the MSE sector to conduct their businesses in secure environments equipped with common user machines, electricity and hospitality services.

In partnership with International Training Center the training arm of the International Labour Organization, the Authority has also recently developed an online learning platform to further support MSEs with continuous skills development. The program will be soon rolled out country-wide as part of the capacity development programmes for formalization to enhance MSEs competitiveness and contribute to building linkages by supporting the involvement of informal business associations and representative bodies through Business Development Services training

“We have met here today as representatives of various groups to develop strategies for the MSEs sector which is the backbone of the Kenyan economy.The objective of this meeting is to align the sector needs and present these issues with one voice. An army that does not have unity of purpose is defeated, Said Mr. Mureu.

He called upon the Government to support the activation of the MSE Development Fund regulations which are still awaiting approval from the National Treasury. The Fund will grant affordable credit facilities to support the development of the MSE sector.

Mr. Mureu urged all the  stakeholders in the MSE sector to support  MSEA by channelling all the MSEs issues through the Authority which is charged with the mandate  of  promoting, developing and regulating the sector as provided in the MSE Act of 2012.

Present during the meeting was also the MSEA CEO Mr. Henry Rithaa who called upon all MSEs to register under the Office of the Registrar of MSEs to reap full benefits of formalization such as Government interventions in funding and access to procurement opportunities. The MSE registration database will facilitate planning by the Government geared towards interventions and also promote coordination in the sector.

Speaking on behalf of the sector leaders, The Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya National Juakali Federation Mr. Richard Muteti said MSEs are represented by both the public and private sector in formal and informal alliances which are segmented. He called for enhanced collaboration and synergy between the industry players to realize the strengths of the sector. The sector leaders resolved to speak in one voice and engage like-minded partners to support MSEs build back stronger as the Covid-19 pandemic eases.

MSEs contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country. Yet, many of them face the constraints of access to credit and business and capacity development, low technological skills and harmonious representation, increasing their instability and risk of closure due to challenges experienced.