Over 150 youths in Nyeri have joined the Coca Cola East Africa Chain Retail Network in a program aimed at job creation and boosting their entrepreneurial skills.
Through the program dubbed ‘Kuza Kazi’ done in partnership with the County Government, the youths have been provided with starter kits consisting of an ice box, parasols and a garden set with the devolved unit purchasing the start-up stock of beverages, including soft drinks, water and juices.
According to Coca Cola Company Communications Director, Susan Maingi, this will go a long way in addressing the high rate of unemployment in the country by helping young men and women to be self-reliant.
Speaking while launching the program at the Governor’s office compound, Ms. Maingi said the program started in 2019 and was already operational in five other counties of Nairobi, Kericho, Kisii, Migori and Kwale and has so far benefited 900 youths.
“Kuza Kazi initiative seeks to harness the power of the Coca-Cola Company’s supply chain to create jobs for Kenyan youth every year in partnership with like-minded private sector entities and with support from County Governments,” Ms. Maingi said.
The beneficiaries will operate under the supervision of Almasi Beverages Limited, one of the unlisted public holding bottling operations of the Coca-Cola Company in Kenya, which will integrate them into the Coca-Cola retail network as vendors.
On his part, Governor, Mutahi Kahiga, hailed the initiative as a worthy addition to the one-year paid internship program being run by his administration benefiting 200 youths annually, with the aim of equipping them with skills required for the workplace.
“The Kuza Kazi initiative goes very well with our youth empowerment strategy which involves creating, supporting and sustaining an environment that unlocks the potential Nyeri people and especially the youth, to achieve socio-economic growth,” Governor Kahiga said.
To further support the success of the initiative, Kahiga announced that his administration will allocate the beneficiaries trading spaces as well as allow them to operate for six months without permits.
By Samuel Waititu