Uhuru charms Kisumu residents with Sh15b investment
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced a new investment of Sh15 billion in Kisumu.
The investment – a state-of- the art brewery by the East Africa Breweries Limited – will be on a fifty acre piece of land and will create 110,000 jobs.
President Kenyatta made the announcement at State House, Nairobi, after holding talks with Ivan Menezes, Diageo Global CEO, who led the East Africa Breweries Limited team.
President Kenyatta said the investment is in keeping with Jubilee administration’s agenda of creating wealth for all Kenyans by ensuring shared prosperity amongst the citizens.
He said the process is underpinned by the Government’s agenda to empower the private sector to thrive.
“If our private sector does well, that development means that our businesses can invest in new parts of the country, and that they can bring jobs – and well-paid jobs at that – for our young people, right across Kenya,” said the President.
The President pointed out that in the Jubilee manifesto launched Monday evening, the Government considered the progress made in laying a strong foundation and looks ahead to the next phase of its delivery agenda which depends on industrialization.
“We know we cannot have inclusive prosperity unless our sons and daughters across the country have good jobs,” said the President.
The President said many Kenyans rely on subsistence agriculture to earn a living noting that farming will remain viable only if the country moves from subsistence production to agribusiness.
“If we do this right, we will see a significant multiplier effect: creating employment; raising rural incomes; increasing food security; boosting exports and eventually growing our economy,” said the President.
He expressed gratitude to Kenya Breweries and other businesses across the country for helping the government in achieving its objective of agribusiness saying the new investment will strengthen the national push for a new, transformative way of doing agriculture in Kenya.
President Kenyatta pointed out that sorghum and millet farmers have collectively earned about Ah 2.2 billion a year from supplying raw materials for making beer; a sum that will rise if they take full advantage of the opportunity offered by KBL.
“Indeed, KBL have contracted about 30,000 smallholder farmers across the country in areas such as Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay as well as Tharaka Nithi, Kitui and Makueni,” he added.
According to projections, the new plant alone will lead to increased utilization of sorghum from the current 20,000 metric tonnes to around 40,000 in the next five years.
“Increased demand for sorghum will see the number of contracted farmers grow from 30,000 to around 45,000. As a result, gross additional farmer earnings are expected to reach over Ksh.6billion annually over the next decade,” said President Kenyatta.
The President thanked Kenya Breweries for introducing safe and affordable beer that has helped in containing illicit brews.
Mr. Menezes commended President Kenyatta for his efforts in creating conducive investment environment saying the new investment is a major mile stone for the East Africa Breweries.
He said the new plant will not only create jobs but also have a multiplier effect of growing small entrepreneurs.
Also present were Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed, Principal Secretary Patrick Nduati, Special Economic Zone CEO Charles Mahinda, Diageo Head of Africa Region John Okeeffe EABL Group MD Andrew Cowan and KBL MD Jane Karuku among others.