Youth, women and people with disabilities will have access to tenders worth Sh10. 7 billion following a partnership launched by Unilever Kenya and Invest in Africa.
The partnership seeks to provide tenders worth Sh10.78 billion ($100 million) to small and medium-sized enterprises led by youth, women and PWDs in a deal expected to create up to one million jobs by 2025.
“We shall continue to drive diversity and inclusion in our value chain by removing barriers and biases in creating more employment opportunities. To drive this commitment, we shall increase the participation of minority SMEs in our supply chains,” said Unilever Kenya managing director Luck Ochieng.
Uniliver is keen on adopting a model akin to the government’s Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), an affirmative action that reserves 30% of government tenders to businesses owned by youth, women and persons with disabilities.
Unilever announced plans to revamp its supply chain to include more small and medium-sized entities run by the youth, women and PWDs, in a push to reduce income inequalities, early this year.
Youth comprise 85 percent of Kenya’s population and unemployment continues to be a major challenge facing this demographic. Women on the other hand continue to suffer from a widening wage gap that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision by Uniliver is a step in the right direction that will definitely go a long way in reducing income inequalities and help achieve a decent living for all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.