Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.
This week is financial inclusion week, a good moment to take stock of the multibillion dollar ‘fortune at the bottom of the pyramid’ that has been so successfully reaped by the financial inclusion industry.
In 2018, Kenya’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection launched the newest phase of its social safety net programme Inua Jamii with an audacious goal: provide all beneficiaries with a full bank account and offer them a choice among four financial services providers.
Millicent, 44, and Amos, 45, live in Eldoret with their 17-year-old daughter. Amos has been working as a matatu driver and bus conductor for many years. Millicent ran a small restaurant during the Diaries, but is now selling plastic wares from a small Mali Mali shop and knitting sweaters, which she sells mostly at back-to-school time.
Shujaaz Inc. is a Kenyan communications research and production company. Formerly called Well Told Story, the company is the producer of “Shujaaz,” an award-winning media platform that provides open spaces – including online platforms – for youth to discuss personal and societal issues often considered sensitive or taboo within their communities.
We were huddled in a routine team discussion at FSD Kenya when we received news of the first confirmed Covid-19 case in Kenya. Like many others, we wondered what this might mean for our work, our families and our country in the days ahead.
The inability of low-income households to access quality healthcare is a major challenge in dealing with unanticipated shocks. The challenge is bigger for rural households. Small rural pharmacies stock almost entirely generic medicines because these are the products that patients can afford.
During a recent visit to Sierra Leone, I was fascinated by the country’s rich history, friendly people and the beautiful beaches of the Freetown peninsula, with miles and miles of white sand – albeit almost empty.