Fund to pump Sh87.2 million into rural firms in Turkana

Ann Kimani (right), quality controller at Best Tropical Fruits takes Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) CEO Victoria Sabula (2nd right) and Global Affairs Canada First Secretary Kelly Thompson (left) through a mango processing plant at Kasolongo, Machakos in 2020. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Over 40 firms in Turkana County are set to benefit from a Sh87.2 million fund.

This is after the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The two will be awarding the winners of the recently concluded Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF) Competitive Business Challenge which get technical support and performance-based grants of between Sh11.6 million ($750,000) and Sh87.2 million ($100,000) to build business capacity. 

The targeted companies include those working in health, energy, agribusiness, financial services, education, media, construction, and light manufacturing.

These include Artech East Africa Ltd and Eruko Savings and Credit Cooperative Society which won in the Local Enterprise Development (LED) window, Renewvia Energy Kenya Ltd and Green Innovation Ventures Enterprises Ltd which won in the Private Sector (PSW) window and Hydroponics Africa Ltd and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Centre which won in the Social Enterprise (SEW) window.

IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu said that winning companies have the potential to transform communities in Turkana County and beyond.

“IFC is committed to supporting development in challenging environments, and through this competition, we show our support in highlighting sustainable private sector solutions to help marginalized and vulnerable groups,” she added.

AECF Chief Executive Victoria Sabula said the fund was dedicated to supporting early and growth-stage businesses in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors to reduce poverty, promote resilient communities and create jobs through private sector investment.

“We have undergone a rigorous and transparent process to select these companies whose innovative business models demonstrate immediate and long-term positive impact in the form of job creation, improved incomes, provision of new services and better access to products,” said Sabula.

KKCF is a five-year programme designed to support private sector investment and unlock the economic potential of the Kakuma-Kalobeyei refugee-hosting area in northern Kenya.