The Beneficiaries of the Kuza Kazi initiative have lauded the Project for changing their lives and perspective to doing business
Before its introduction, Andrew Mauti Onchiri 31, could barely sustain his family needs as a Father.
He can now freely smile, and afford to fend for his family thanks to the Kuza Kazi initiative which was launched by Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Ltd together with its bottling partner Almasi Beverages Limited launched a job-creation initiative dubbed Kuza Kazi in Kisii County government under Governor James Ongwae.
Mr Onchiri a business operator at Egetonto market talked to The Scissor Bi-weekly on how the venture has not only transformed his business but changed his perspective to doing business since the introduction of the Kuza Kazi initiative.
“Since I received the cooler box , my business improved since I received many other customers, “Mr Onchiri cheerfully tells the writer.
On a good day Onchiri earns between 200 to 300 Ksh totalling up to around Ksh 9000 accumulative income monthly. An amount he rarely used to earn before.
Kuza Kazi aims not only at increasing employment, but also formalizes the informal sector which currently represents 82.7% of employment in Kenya.
In western Kenya, it is believed that most (45 %) of the youths who finish college or universities within the region are jobless, Hence, increasing the level of crime to unprecedented level within the region.
Mr Joel Kibowen, the Commercial Director of Almasi Beverages Limited who are the co-partners with Price Water House Coopers and Coca Cola implementing the project; says that through the initiative the company’s mission to economically empower 1000 youth from Kisii and surroundings counties through boosting their entrepreneurial skills and equipping them to a start table-top businesses is on course.
“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,”says Mr Kibowen adding that the initiative through monitoring will enable top performers join the Coca-Cola retail network.
This will in return enhance their income and savings and as well expand their business, and build their potential to become future employers.
I have closely worked with them (Kuza Kazi), and since they follow up on business progress, I urge other youth to join it and embrace business so as to avoid crime within the society says Onchiri as customers interrupt the interview.
Sentiments which are echoed by Ms Wilter Moraa 28, another beneficiary of the initiative from Bobaracho market. She says that the project changed her perception towards being employed.
“Investing in entrepreneurship activities is the only way to go; I tarmacked for many days but now am proudly funding “says Ms Moraa.
Ms Moraa says on a good day she can make a profit of 1500 per day. Further tells the writer that the initiative has changed her lifestyle from a pauper to a self-dependable woman.
“ I urge all other youth who are idle to join the initiative and know the importance of investing in business rather than just sitting and waiting for white collar jobs”, she tells the writer jovially.
However, Moraa and Onchiri are of the view that youth who have interests in business should be given interest free loans to expand their business and training on how to run businesses so as to create employment.
“ We could also like to urge our sponsors of this initiative in partnership with Coca Cola to consider supplying us with big fridges, seats and tables so as to accommodate more customers’ needs for those who have shown potential for growth”, Moraa told Scissor Biweekly.
They asked youths not to depend on white collar jobs but to engage themselves in legal business activities.
The two duos also pleaded to the county and national government to nurture youths by providing them with soft loans.
According to Mr Joel Kibowen, Commercial Director, Almasi Beverages Limited, the initiative aims to economically empower 1000 youth from Kisii and neighboring counties by boosting their entrepreneurial skills and equipping them to start table-top businesses.
After certification and training the youth will then join Coca-Colas retail network, enhancing their income and savings, expand their business, and build their potential to become future employers.