The government will partner with counties to modernise markets to make them habitable, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
In the ambitious plan that seeks to attract more youths into entrepreneurship, thereby reducing dependence on formal employment, modern structures will be erected in major markets across the country.
According to Mr Ruto, the development is informed by the fact that small businesses play a prime role in the economy of Kenya but have not been given the attention they deserve.
“That is why we have come up with a solid roadmap that would make them flourish,” he said.
The Deputy President said this on Sunday at the PCEA Ruiru Town Church in Kiambu County where he noted that the revamping of the populous Githurai Market was on course.
He said the construction of the new market, which will take about two years, will offer a better operating environment and accommodate more than 6,000 small businesses.
He assured residents that their businesses would not be affected even as work progresses on the new structures.
“I ask the people of Githurai to work with us. If there has been any mistake done so far, let us sit down and talk; but the work on the new market has to continue,” he said.
Mr Ruto was accompanied by area Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Deputy Governor James Nyoro, MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Patrick Wainaina (Thika) and Simon King’ara (Ruiru).
Others were Joshua Kandie (Baringo Central), Halima Mucheke (Nominated), Jane Njiru (Woman Rep, Embu County) and Isaac Mwaura (Nominated Senator).
Besides enhanced security, the Deputy President said the new market would enjoy ample water supply.
Mr Waititu said the modernisation of the Githurai market would attract more players and therefore deepen competition.
“We appreciate the fact that there have been complaints about this work. But the truth of the matter of the matter is that my administration is focused on coming up with structures that would serve generations,” said the Kiambu Governor.
According to Mr Kuria and Mr Ichungwa, the government also needs to lay down a plan that will ensure small local businesses are protected from unmerited competition from foreign companies.
“If we cannot create a conducive environment for them, there is a danger that youths would engage in anti-social behaviours and therefore increase crime rates in the country,” said Mr Kuria.
The leaders said they would not support the review of the constitution if it is driven by selfish rather than public interest.
“Referendum needs to be guided by the interests of Kenyans. It cannot be used to push for personal whims,” said Mr Ichungwa.
Meanwhile, Mr Ruto has said Sh100 million has been allocated for the construction of the Ruiru Technical Training Institute to help build capacity for the youths. He noted that the goal of the government is to have at least one technical college in every constituency.