World Bank approves project to create 45,000 new jobs in Kenya

FILE PIC: The World Bank. /AP
FILE PIC: The World Bank. /AP

FILE PIC: The World Bank. /AP

The World Bank has announced the approval of a project expected to create about 45,000 new jobs in Kenya.

The bank's initiative, known as the Kenya Jobs and Economic Transformation Project (KJET), aims to boost private sector investments, facilitate access to markets, and promote sustainable finance for job creation and enhancement.

Keith Hansen, World Bank country director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda, said that the project, backed by a 150 million U.S. dollars financing, supports the World Bank's mission of ending extreme poverty on a sustainable planet.

"It will focus on empowering the private sector, driving job creation, and catalyzing green investments by private investors in member countries," Hansen said in a statement issued in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, on Tuesday evening.

KJET will offer business development services geared towards strengthening viable value chains and linking micro, small, and medium enterprises to markets. Additionally, it will invest in firms to enhance productive capacity and capabilities.

The lender said that these activities will subsequently augment firms' capacity and efficiency, resulting in increased hiring and enhanced worker productivity.

Noting the ongoing economic transformation in Kenya, the World Bank said that employment remains primarily concentrated in low-productivity sectors and firms. It emphasized that labor force participation in Kenya decreased from 73 percent in 2015 to 69 percent in 2019.

The bank highlighted the concentration of jobs in sectors with low labor productivity, indicating a disparity between job creation and output growth in high-productivity sectors. It also stressed the limited productivity growth in traditional sectors.

Ahmed Rostom, World Bank senior financial sector specialist and KJET task team leader, said that the project would focus on enhancing the competitiveness of small enterprise clusters by bolstering capabilities and productive capacity, ultimately expanding sales, profits, and jobs in supported firms. 

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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