Anthony joined the informal economy in 1993 in Nairobi. Along the way, he moved to Kisumu and started trading along the street at the heart of the city. It’s here that Anthony started organizing of street vendors and marketeers. He became the chair of Kisumu Informal Traders in 1995 and was later elected as Management Board of KENASVIT in 1996 until 2012. In 2013, Anthony was elected as National President of KENASVIT and he holds that position to date. During this period, he was part of the national agitation for the enactment of Micro and Small Enterprises Act of 2010, which included the establishment of a MSE Authority, a Tribunal and a Fund, now known as Hustlers’ Fund. KENASVIT has been part of the MSE Authority Board since its inception. Anthony has been at the forefront advocating for comprehensive and inclusive social protection for KENASVIT’s members. Markets have been built for the members across KENASVIT’s regions and they have implemented collective bargaining between members and local authorities. Anthony is also a champion for giving space and enabling women and youth to take up leadership positions, as well as people will disabilities to be recognized and have leadership positions. Currently, he is prioritizing issues related to Child Welfare and Occupational Health and Safety. Anthony considers advocating for inclusion in policies and influencing policy-making is key. A luta continua – there is nothing for us without us!
A group of StreetNet affiliates had the opportunity to participate in an exposure visit in Nairobi, Kenya, to better understand the State-sponsored social protection schemes in the country. Together, we learned a lot and will now take these learnings back to our countries!(more…)
Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) is a national alliance of street vendors, hawkers and informal traders in Kenya. KENASVIT was formed in 2005 and registered by the Registrar of Societies in February 2006. We are a membership umbrella organisation bringing together local urban associations of street vendors, hawkers and informal traders in twelve towns: Nairobi, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Migori, Mombasa, Kitale, Busia, Kakamega, Machakos, Kisii and Keroka. KENASVIT will soon be expanding to all major towns in Kenya. The national office for KENASVIT is located in Nakuru Municipality. The Alliance is run by an elected National Executive Committee whose members are drawn from the twelve urban alliances.
KENASVIT is affiliated to StreetNet International, an organisation which brings together informal workers groups in 40 countries. We are further supported by international partners including War on Want, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), and Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). Additionally, KENASVIT collaborates with like-minded civil society organisations, such as Kenya Land Alliance. We have working relationships with relevant government departments in the Ministries of Labour and Human Resource Development, Trade and Local Government.
The vision of the alliance is to transform street vending and informal businesses into corporate establishments.
The mission of the alliance is to organize and empower street vendors and informal traders, in order to improve their businesses through training, access to credit, dialogue with local authorities and other relevant organizations on appropriate by-laws and policies that give recognition to, and bring to an end harassment and discrimination against traders.
KENASVIT’s membership is composed of Kenyan street vendors, hawkers and market traders. Street vendors and informal traders contribute significantly to their local and national economies, yet they remain among the most marginalized and vulnerable of the Kenya’s workers. The informal sector in Kenya remains without legal recognition. As such, street vendors and other informal workers face harsh working conditions and inadequate earnings, and are particularly vulnerable to local and global economic shocks. These workers also face discrimination from local authorities, central government and the general public.
In addition to activities for our general membership, KENASVIT conducts activities targeting further marginalized groups within our membership, including street vendors with disabilities and women street vendors.
Since inception, KENASVIT has made great strides in achieving the following: organizing street vendors, hawkers and informal traders in twelve major towns in Kenya; advocacy and lobbying on the MSE Bill and trading sites; establishing a Micro-Credit scheme for street vendors; conducting peace and reconciliation activities following post-election violence in Kenya; capacity building for members in conflict resolution and management, negotiation skills, Revolving Loan Fund Management; facilitating dialogue meetings with local authorities to address issues facing street traders.
KENASVIT’s Urban Affiliates
- Eldoret Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (ELASVIT)
- Kisumu Informal Traders Economic Support (KITES)
- Machakos Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (MASVIT)
- Migori Street Vendors and Small Traders Society (MISVESTS)
- Mombasa Urban Steret Traders Alliance (MUSTA)
- Nakuru Street Traders and Hawkers Alliance (NASTHA)
- Nairobi Informal Sector Confederation (NISCOF)
- Kitale Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KASVIT)
- Kakamega Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KAKASVIT)
- Busia Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (BUSVIT)
- Kisii Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KISVIT)
- Keroka Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KEASVIT)
Jane Masta joined StreetNet International in January 2018 as the Organiser for Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Public Administration and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Prior to Joining StreetNet International she worked with Central Organisation of Trade Unions Kenya (COTU-Kenya) and ITUC-Africa as a gender officer and projects manager. She has also been a member of the African Labour Research Network (ALRN) and Committee of Expert’s Member for East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC). Jane has over 15 years’ experience in the Labour Movement.
At StreetNet International she is involved in assisting the International Coordinator in coordinating StreetNet Internationally, Regionally and Lobbying and Advocacy work. She is also involved in project management.
StreetNet International and EATUC (East African Trade Union Confederation) organised a programme of exchange visits between their affiliates in Kenya and Rwanda.
The first visit took place in Rwanda from November 9th to November 12th 2015.
The purpose of exchange visits was to learn more about the organizations’ experiences.
KENASVIT was the visiting organization with 4 Leaders. They have been hosted by StreetNet International affiliate and EATUC affiliate in Rwanda (SYTRIECI and CESTRAR).
The programme was prepared by the hosted organizations, according to the terms of reference for exchange visit focused on one workshop and visits to informal workers on the ground. They visited CESTRAR Office, members of SYTRIECI at their work places and they also met COSYLI (National center to whom SYTRIECI is affiliated).
According to the report prepared by SYTRIECI and KENASVIT “This exchange visit gave an intellectual support to the members because they have been reminded their great role and contribution in development of their countries.”