eLearning to Empower Kenyan Women

Image source: http://www.droid254.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/UWEZO-FUND.jpg

Image source: http://www.droid254.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/UWEZO-FUND.jpg

Until recently, businesswomen in Kenya have faced a common challenge: they have been unable to access markets outside of their community. The Uwezo fund in Kenya seeks to economically empower women, helping the 45% of Kenyans living at or below the poverty line.

This fund is part of the government’s 2030 Vision and is present in all of Kenya’s 290 districts. It provides access to business funding for women, young people and persons with disabilities through grants from the Ministry of Devolution of between 15 million KES and 27 million KES.

Uwezo seeks to address not only the issue of access to funding, but also helping recipients use it wisely. In response, the fund created an eLearning programme, in collaboration with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, to train beneficiaries in business and online banking skills, as well as digital literacy training, if required. The digital literacy component, in partnership with Intel, has trained more than 300 women.

The online portal allows for interaction among women to share best practices, as well as an online marketplace.   This programme also matches women with mentors that help them successfully run their businesses.

The platform has also helped track the success of the Uwezo fund in general. This portal is the first of its kind in Africa. Esther Gacicio, the Senior assistant Director and Curriculum Specialist at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, says, “Through the portal, the Ministry of Devolution can track progress made in the Uwezo programmes, monitor any hiccups that may arise and give more advise with a click of a button.”

Gacicio acknowledges continuing challenges of internet connectivity and bandwidth, but is confident in the programmes ability to overcome these and other challenges, empower women and youth, and solve unemployment.

Gacicio will share further experiences of the eLearning program at the eLearning Africa Conference, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 20-22, 2015.

Source: Biztech Africa