Echo Network Africa launches fund for women aspirants
Echo Network Africa, previously known as Kenya Women Holdings, has launched the Democracy Trust Fund for women aspiring for leadership. The rebranding is a new dawn for women in Kenya as they will be able to save for their political dreams through the Democracy Trust Fund, said Dr Jennifer Riria, the Group CEO Echo Network Africa and the patron of Democracy Trust Fund.
“Competition in the political scene has spelt challenges for women to lead. There are so many hindrances, yet women are not serviced to take up leadership positions. Most of the women say that there is no even playing ground for women to compete for leadership positions as men,” Dr Riria observed as she opened the launch of Democracy Trust Fund at the Intercontinental Hotel on Wednesday morning.
Across the country, many women want to vie for political leadership positions, but they are unable to pay for the political processes, even political party membership. “Political parties have failed women aspirants and other groups that they purport to support,” Dr Riria said.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 provides that a third of any leadership positions should be occupied by women. But this is not happening, until we provide women with what it takes to get there through the power fund, she added.
The Democracy Trust Fund is a game-changer in that it will change the conversation that women need to be supported. “Through the fund, women will work themselves to leadership positions,” she noted.
Women will participate in building and creating the fund through savings. “They know how much they require to vie for political positions. So they will save towards it,” said Dr Riria. On the pragmatic side, the fund will endear the women aspirants to the community that they would want to lead. “This will give them an edge,” she added.
The fund will be managed professionally by fund managers and custodians. “The money will go to a custodian bank to be invested by professionals as provided for in the law,” Dr Riria said. The fund will be invested prudently so that it grows and those who have saved will be able to monitor the progress, but they will not be allowed to touch it until in 2021.
“There is no minimum or maximum amount of savings. It is what one desires, according to the position that they would want to vie for,” commented Dr Riria. Those who want to get into the Democracy Trust Fund network can sign up by paying a