The Coca-Cola System Commits Kshs 125 Million Into Kenya’s Economic & Environmental Recovery From Covid-19

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Kenya Sales and Marketing Director, Josephat Mwangi (right) looks on as ABSA Regional Corporate and Investment Banking Director East Africa, James Agin (center) is being engaged by with Amref Health Africa Country Director – Kenya, Dr. Meshack Ndirangu (left) as they are holding an MOU between the three companies.

An estimated 18,000 traders are set to benefit from an initiative launched by the Coca-Cola Company, Women Enterprise Fund (WEF), Absa Group, Laikipia County Government, and Amref Health Africa.

The initiative seeks to support small and micro business outlets across the country to recover and bounce back after COVID-19 impact on the economy that saw most of them loose revenue and close down.

The chosen 18,000 trade outlets will receive personal protective equipment including masks and face shields, handwashing jerrycans, sanitizers, and garden furniture to enable them to enforce the required social distancing. They will also be provided with communication and awareness materials related to COVID-19 safety and precautions.

Dr. Meshack Ndirangu, Amref Country Director for Kenya speaking during the launch.

Speaking during the launch, Philippine Mtikitiki, the vice president and GM of Coca-Cola East & Central Africa Franchise said; “Over the last few months, we have been focussing on the health and safety of our employees and communities. We are now extending our support to the extended economies and micro-small businesses. The closure of the economy at the time was the correct action to take in a bid to control the spread of the virus, and we commend the government of Kenya. To help those who have been at the heart of our social fabric but had to temporarily close, we as a system, we have committed Ksh 125 million towards supporting out trade partners and waste collectors, eateries, restaurants, bars, and Kiosks”.

Under the initiative, the traders and their staff will also benefit from COVID-19 healthy and safety training provided by Amref Health, to help them adhere to business opening and operating guidelines as per the government directives. Absa, the financial business partner will facilitate access to business loans to the traders that require working capital to revive their enterprises including restocking.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Kenya Sales and Marketing Director, Josephat Mwangi (left) addressing the media fraternity during the Launch of Coca-Cola System Small Business Recovery support at Serena hotel.

James Agin, Absa’s Regional Corporate Director for East Africa, while speaking at the event explained that under the partnership, the bank shall support affected businesses across the entire value chain with revolving short-term working capital financing to bridge any cash flow challenges between stock purchase and receipt of payment from their customers.

“We will offer small and medium businesses unsecured loans of up to 10 million shillings which is the highest in the market, as well as LPO financing and invoice discounting of up to 50 million shillings amongst other benefits. We will also offer insurance and asset-based financing. This will allow the distributors and retailers the flexibility to accept extended payment terms from manufacturers as well as increase their credit should they require it”. He added.

Dr. Meshack Ndirangu, the director of Amref Health Africa Kenya also explained the role of Amref in the initiative.

“We are delighted to be part of this noble initiative that will contribute to ensuring that our economy starts to grow again and the businesses comply with national health and safety guidelines. Our role in this initiative is to empower traders with the knowledge that enables them to operate safely while ensuring they maintain a safe space for their customers. This will be done through an easy-to-understand training curriculum and application of a set standard of operating procedures”, he said.

The initiative has also partnered with the Laikipia County Government through its Economic stimulus program to provide trade finance to the county’s distributors and retailers

Eng. Charles Mwirigi, the WEF CEO underscored that the WEF has committed Ksh 2 billion to provide affordable loans to support women traders as well as business skills training to enable them to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Kenya Sales and Marketing Director, Josephat Mwangi (right) looks on as ABSA Regional Corporate and Investment Banking Director East Africa, James Agin (center) is being engaged by with Amref Health Africa Country Director – Kenya, Dr. Meshack Ndirangu (left) as they are holding an MOU between the three companies.

“We will continue to prioritize initiatives that support our traders as they reopen for business and we are already rolling out some initial support that will be augmented by what we are officially launching today. The response from our trade partners has so far has been very positive, and we hope that in the coming months they will regain consumer confidence and record more business,” said Xavier Selga, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Kenya.

“Many people and our environment has suffered during this pandemic. Investing back into the ‘small giants’ of our country, those micro and small businesses that are the backbone of Kenya’s resilience is the least we could do. And we are humbled and honored to be joined by other like-minded organizations to bring their services and skills to support those who need it most. Together, we believe we can emerge stronger and create a better-shared future’, concluded Mtikitiki.

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