Coca-Cola Company together with its bottling partner Almasi Beverages Limited has launched a job-creation initiative dubbed Kuza Kazi in Kisii County.
The initiative that seeks to create entrepreneurship opportunities to address the high rate of unemployment in the country also has USAID Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES) on board.
Speaking during the launch, Commercial Director, Almasi Beverages Limited Joel Kibowen said that through the initiative, the company aims to economically empower 1,000 youth from Kisii County.
Mr Kibowen said the company will boost the youth’s entrepreneurial skills and equip them to start table-top businesses.
“The youth will then join Coca-Cola retail network, and build their potential to become future employers,” he said.
He said the initiative is aligned to the government’s Big Four agenda, and is being rolled-out in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoppers (PwC) – as the project managers.
“Kuza Kazi aims not only at increasing employment, but also formalising the informal sector which currently represents 82.7 per cent of employment in Kenya. Each of the beneficiaries will receive a starter kit consisting of an ice box, a parasol, products (soft drinks, water or juices) and branding materials,” he said.
The beneficiaries will receive the starter kit as an initial investment into their business. They will then operate under the direct supervision of the Coca-Cola bottling partners who will integrate them into the Coca-Cola retail network.
Kisii County Governor James Ongwae said the Kuza Kazi initiative will go a long way in economically empowering the people of Kisii County, especially the youth.
The governor appealed to the Coca-Cola Company to consider reviving the operations at the Kisii Bottlers that has resulted to many losing their jobs after its shutdown.
The Kuza Kazi initiative, seeks to harness the power of Coca-Colas supply chain to create 50,000 jobs for Kenyan youth every year in partnership with donors, like-minded private sector entities and support from county governments.