Buoyed by a rise in its membership, Harambee Sacco is now venturing into front office services activity (FOSA) and automation to increase its revenue base, its officials said yesterday.
Harambee, which draws most of its membership from the Civil Service, said its total asset base has for the last 16 years increased from Sh.6.6 billion to the current Sh.29.5 billion.
On Saturday, the society re-launched its FOSA branch in Mombasa. Chief Executive Officer, Dr. George Ochiri said this year, FOSA branches would be opened in Kisumu, Eldoret and Nanyuki.
“On February 11, Harambee Sacco became 50 years old and we have decided to remodel our services to serve our customers better,” said Dr. Ochiri in Mombasa.
Harambee which is the third-largest deposit-taking co-operative society in Kenya opened its branch in Mombasa that will serve civil servants in Mombasa, Lamu and Kilifi counties.
“The society’s total asset stood at around Sh.6.6 billion ; 16 years down the line, the society is now worth Sh.29.5 billion,” said the society’s Vice Chair, Beldina Oguya.
Harambee Sacco’s membership stood at about 92, 000 at the end of 2017, with most of the members being current and former civil servants.
Oguya said the FOSA would enable the Sacco to reach its members in remote parts of the country.
“FOSA will also cushion our members against exploitative charges levied by banks. We want to move our services from the mortar and brick to online where members can do transactions through their mobile phones,” said Oguya.
Meanwhile, the Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elung’ata said the region was becoming attractive to new investment following improved security situation.
He noted that for the last several years, the region’s economy has been reeling in the wake of terror attacks blamed on the remnants of Somali based Al Shabaab group operating from Boni forest.
The RC said Lamu which was closed for over seven years due to insecurity in terms of transport and logistics was now opening up with the completion of the first berth of the Lamu Port.
“The focus of the government now is to make sure that we revive the region’s economy,” said Elung’ata, noting that the region’s economy was currently on the upward trajectory.
He said the government had put in place incentives to attract private firms to invest in the blue economy and tourism sector in the region with emphasis on the Lamu port.
Already, the construction of the first of the three State funded berths of the Lamu port is complete and due for opening sometime next month. The construction of the second berth is 80 percent complete, according to the LAPSSET Authority.
By Hussein Abdullahi