Kisii County governor James Ongwae has appealed for the re - establishment of Kisii Bottlers company that was shut down recently.
Ongwae said that the soft drinks factory had shattered the dreams of thousands of people who entirely depended on its operations for their livelihoods as well as hurting the economy of the region.
“I have already engaged the Coca Cola management for the possibility of reviving full operations at the factory.” Ongwae assured.
He continued, “This was a major factory around here, and a major employer. It’s a matter we are discussing and we will come to a conclusion soon.”
The reason for the closure a few months ago was given as due to the firm’s business re-engineering strategy which the management had cited as change of business model but the plant enjoyed a good market environment and locals still yearn for its re-opening.
The soft drinks manufacturer had a factory located in the outskirts of Kisii town but was shut down in 2017 and its operations moved to its sister plant in Nyeri.
More than 700 jobs were lost as a result of the closure.
Ongwae was speaking during the launch of Kuza Kazi program that intends to empower youths and vulnerable groups to improve their livelihoods by facilitating their enterprises.
The initiative by the Coca Cola Africa Foundation will target 1000 youths across the county who will receive kits containing cooler boxes and parasols.
Ongwae said that the initiative will be helpful since it will link young people to entrepreneurial skills, trainings and job opportunities.
“The program will economically empower 1000 youth from Kisii by boosting their entrepreneurial skills and equipping them to start table-top businesses.” Ongwae said.
He also added that the Kisii county government has initiated a KShs.10million County Trade Credit Scheme to provide a financial base for enterprise development among the youth.
“In this scheme, organized business groups are set to benefit with trade credit as startup capital for their businesses. Beneficiaries will include youth and women groups across the 45 electoral wards,” he continued.
According to Ongwae, the county government is also in the process of establishing a Trade and Business Information Centre which will be a one stop shop for trade and business information in the county and elsewhere.
“The Centre will provide an easy to understand, practical guide for small and medium sized businesses seeking information about their business interests.” He noted.
He encouraged the youth to take up this opportunity to maximize their potential.
ALMASI beverages Limited Human Resource Manager, Timothy Muthini said that the new platform is meant to address the high rate of unemployment in the country by generating 7000 jobs every year with the ice box program.