The SME Kenya policy dialogue was hosted in partnership with African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and African Natural Resources Centre (ANRC).
The Kenya policy dialogue was hosted on 21st June 2019 at Strathmore University and brought together a total of 83 participants (25 female, 58 male) from private sector, government, academia, banking sector and SMEs from Kenya and Uganda. The policy dialogue was a culmination of 4-day training for SMEs in Kenya. The dialogue forum was guided by an issue paper that identified key policy issues and gaps that need to be addressed by government.
The policy dialogue saw the participation of key government officials from Kenya especially the Principal Secretary, State Department of Petroleum, Ministry of Petroleum and Mining as well as a representative of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives. The principal secretary gave the key note address in which he emphasised that there is already an enabling policy and regulatory environment. He observed that what SMEs need more is funding and tailored financial products to be able to plug into the industry. Further he emphasised the need to work towards building the capacity of SMEs to competitively take on opportunities in the petroleum value chain. The policy dialogue was themed Strengthening SME Participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. The dialogue explored two important issues critical to strengthening SME participation in the oil and gas value chain:
- Optimizing East Africa’s Oil and Gas potential and;
- Creating a stable and strong policy and regulatory environment: Unlocking the oil and gas opportunities for local enterprises
The policy dialogue resulted in the development and dissemination of a policy paper that identifies key constraints that face SMEs, with possible policy considerations that can help strengthen their engagement in the fast-transitioning and time-bound oil and gas sector.