PILOT PROGRAMME

NITA, jua kali lobby partner to enhance artisans’ skills

Artisans who have no papers will be certified and recognised

In Summary

• Nita chair Kamau Gachigi on Wednesday said the partnership means jua kali artisans can acquire specific skills suited to their trade for a small fee.

• “Our role is to train but we also have a lot of equipment which the jua kali sector players can now use,” Gachigi said.

NITA acting director-genral Stephen Ogenga and KNFJKA boss Richard Muteti after signing the MoU at NITA Mombasa on Wednesday
DEAL: NITA acting director-genral Stephen Ogenga and KNFJKA boss Richard Muteti after signing the MoU at NITA Mombasa on Wednesday
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

The National Industrial Training Authority has partnered with the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations to train artisans on use of specialised equipment.

Nita chair Kamau Gachigi on Wednesday said the partnership means jua kali artisans can acquire specific skills suited to their trade for a small fee.

“Our role is to train but we also have a lot of equipment which the jua kali sector players can now use,” Gachigi said.

Speaking at Nita Mombasa during the launch of the pilot programme, Gachigi said jua kali sector players will soon be the primary drivers of the economy.

The programme will be rolled out across other four Nita centres, including Nairobi and Kisumu if the pilot succeeds.

The artisans must be registered to or affiliated with an association to access the Nita facilities.

Nita acting director general Stephen Ogenga said skilled artisans who have no papers will be certified and recognised as professional workers under the plan.

“This is an open programme. One only needs to come here and demonstrate to us the skills that they have. And then we will use our own systems to certify them,” Ogenga said.

He said enabling the players in the industry through up-skilling ad re-skilling is necessary because artisans drive 80 per cent of the economy.

This way, Ogenga said, the workers can produce higher quality goods and services that can be exported to the international market.

KNFJKA chief executive Richard Muteti said manufacturing is done by the small and medium enterprises, with the jua kali sector leading.

“The partnership we have with Nita is to give society and the country confidence in our peoples’ skills," Muteti said.

He said the informal sector employs over 83 per cent of the work force in Kenya yearly.

The market has been complaining about the quality of products, Muteti noted.

KFJKA secretary general Charles Kalomba said normally, the jua kali sector does not manufacture goods in mass.

“The GDP of this country is hurting because we don’t provide goods for export in the region and even globally,” Kalomba said.