Friday, 8th February 2019: Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Ltd together with its bottling partner Almasi Beverages Limited and USAID Kenya Youth Employment and Skills (K-YES) has today launched a job-creation initiative dubbed Kuza Kazi in Kisii County that seeks to create entrepreneurship opportunities to address the high rate of unemployment in the country.
Through this initiative, the company aims to economically empower 1000 youth from Kisii by boosting their entrepreneurial skills and equipping them to start table-top businesses. The youth will then join Coca-Cola’s retail network, enhancing their income and savings, expand their business, and build their potential to become future employers.
“Almasi Beverages Limited is very pleased to be associated with Kuza Kazi which is critical to the realization of the country’s economic strategic objectives under Vision 2030. To address the high rate of unemployment in the country both the private and public sectors need to work together and that’s why it’s important to join hands with key partners to look for a solution in line with our Sustainability Agenda,” said Mr. Joel Kibowen, Commercial Director, Almasi Beverages Limited.
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% of employment in Kenya.
The initiative is designed to work through the existing Coca-Cola ecosystem, utilising the supply chain operated by the Coca-Cola bottling companies (Almasi Beverages, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and Coastal Bottlers). 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.
The beneficiaries will receive the starter kit at cost 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. Bottling partners will fulfil vendors’ product orders, offer training and sales support.
Speaking at the event, Kisii County Governor H.E. James Ongwae said that with a population of over 1.2 million, the Kuza Kazi initiative will create meaningful employment opportunities to many people in the county.
“We are happy to receive kits containing cooler boxes and parasols from the Kuza Kazi initiative and I believe this will go a long way in economically empowering the people of Kisii County, especially the youth,” said Governor Ongwae at the county headquarters.
The Kuza Kazi initiative, seeks to harness the power of Coca-Cola’s 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.