UK Trade Minister hails EABL’s commitment to Kenyan economy
United Kingdom’s Minister of State in the Department of International Trade, Greg Hands, has lauded Diageo investments in Kenya through East Africa Breweries (EABL) as an enduring mark of the strong trade ties between the two countries.
Speaking during a tour of EABL’s Ruaraka plant, Mr. Hands said he was keen to solidify trade and investment initiatives between the UK and Kenya and ensure emerging opportunities are safeguarded by robust trade policy.
“I’m incredibly proud that the UK is the number one foreign investor in Kenya. As I have witnessed first-hand here, this is not only a long-standing investment but I’m also told of a new plant coming up in Kisumu, which as I understand will provide 110,000 direct and indirect jobs. That is a massive number of people entering the job market which I think is a fantastic thing of getting a job with this company,” said Mr. Hands.
In the last five years, Diageo, through EABL has invested Ksh.30 billion across its East African operations and impacted the lives of over 30,000 farmers to cement its position as one of region’s most socially responsible companies. EABL estimates it will recruit a further 15,000 farmers to supply sorghum (used to make the Senator beer), once Kisumu brewery is complete.
Welcoming Mr. Hands, EABL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cowan said: “EABL has been around for 96 years and so it’s a real Kenyan company and Diageo’s presence here is really part of a much bigger picture. Not only is this plant in Ruaraka the single biggest plant in the whole population of Diageo, but EABL is deeply stitched into the tapestry of Kenya.”
He added: “We are proud to be a socially relevant participant: currently, EABL contributes an estimated 0.8% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), highlighting our socio-economic footprint in Kenya. This means that our contribution to the economy is impacting over 1.8 million people, with 250,000 – 300,000 of them indirectly employed in EABL’s marketplace.”
The visit by the UK Minister for Trade Policy comes a fortnight after British High Commissioner Nic Hailey’s visited Kenya Breweries Limited’s multi-billion-shilling investment in Kisumu.
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