President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday has launched a Ksh 7 billion state-of the art Hot-Fill juice plant at the Nairobi Coca-Cola Plant, Embakasi.
He said the investment, under the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), compliments the nation’s Big Four Agenda.
He added that the Big Four Agenda provides solutions to the many problems that Kenyans have longed for answers over the years.
“The Big Four Agenda is our answer to these questions. Kenyans want a country that works for all of us: we want reasonably priced medical care; we want skilled jobs for our sons and daughters; we want to be entirely food secure; and we want dignified jobs for ourselves,” said the President who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto.
He added: “The Big Four serves each of those; and it encourages every other Kenyan to do their part in the work of achieving them,”
President Kenyatta said that the CCBA investment is a clear demonstration the government’s priorities had struck a chord in the private sector.
“Like us, you appreciate the importance of jobs, of innovation, and of manufacturing,” he told the CCBA fraternity led by the chairman, Phil Gutsche and the Chief Executive Officer Doug Jackson. Some of the partners travelled all the way from the US.
The hot-fill juice facility, the latest and first such technology in the region, impacts over 30,000 local farmers during fruit harvest season and over 1500 employees working at the plant.
The new Juice Line manufactures a range of products including fruit juices, sports drinks, dairy fusions and iced tea.
President Kenyatta stated he was not only pleased with the huge investment and the direct jobs created by the plant, but also those created for suppliers and the farmers.
He said there is need to commercialize the country’s agriculture and raise its standards to both compete in the region and anywhere in the world.
President Kenyatta reiterated the government’s commitment to continue building more infrastructure, and developing policies that are friendly to the manufacturers.
Additionally, government will also continue creating an environment that enables investors to thrive and contribute to the country prosperity.
In this regard, said the President, new regulations under the Public Procurement and Disposal Act will soon be gazetted , paying more attention to the requirements of “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” and the 40 per cent local content policy.
The policy encourages public and private sectors expenditure to favor goods and services produced locally.
President Kenyatta further announced that the current concessionary freight rates being enjoyed by the business community using the SGR will be extended to the end of the year.