Kenyan women will now have access to cheaper loans under a new government plan aimed at advancing financial inclusion in the country. President William Ruto announced that women will be able to borrow at a rate of six percent per year under the remodeled Women Enterprise Fund (WEP). The move is expected to reach more women and accelerate their economic empowerment. The loans will be processed instantly, unlike in the past when the process took up to 45 days and financial intermediaries have been eliminated to boost access and reduce credit costs.
“We have also eliminated financial intermediaries. This will boost access and check credit costs”, said President Ruto during the re-launch of the Women Enterprise Fund and the launch of the second product of the Hustler Fund. He also noted that the Fund would empower more women with shorter repayment periods and strengthen their financial muscle. Additionally, the development of a Sharia-compliant product is underway to cater to Muslim consumers.
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Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and several Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Governors were present during the event. Governor Ann Waiguru noted that technology has provided a unique chance to confront the challenge of financial exclusion, especially among women and that the Council of Governors will work towards empowering women. Meanwhile, Governor Cecily Mbarire acknowledged that progress has been made in women’s empowerment, but more needs to be done to push for more opportunities in the political and economic space.