Victoria Mars, board member and immediate former Chairperson of Mars Incorporated, who recently visited Kenya, met President Uhuru Kenyatta and expressed support for the government’s Big Four Pillars for inclusive growth which includes manufacturing.
Ms. Mars who was accompanied by senior Mars executives said its subsidiary, Wrigley, and its global parent firm Mars, Incorporated view manufacturing – one of the Big Four pillars – as a great opportunity to transform Kenya into a competitive global economy and improve the lives of her people.
“Your goal to boost local manufacturing is timely and offers an opportunity to expand employment and business opportunities for Kenyans, while building the country’s position as a leading industrial hub in Africa. As a local manufacturer, we are keen to work with you to achieve this objective,” she said during the meeting held at State House, Nairobi.
Ms. Mars also briefed the President on various initiatives undertaken by her firm to provide social and economic opportunities for Kenyans; including program Maua, which currently has over 700 entrepreneurs; transforming their lives.
The President reiterated his government’s commitment to offering incentives for the manufacturing sector to thrive in Kenya including lower cost of energy and modern infrastructure.
He also commended Wrigley for the continued commitment to investing in Kenya notably the Ksh7 billion sustainably-built factory the company is building in Athi River. President Kenyatta said the new factory will not only create additional jobs but also provide opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises in its expanded value chain.
Ms. Mars added that Mars Inc. was actively supporting social and economic initiatives to expand employment and business opportunities for Kenyans especially in low-income and rural areas. Key sectors of engagement include agriculture, through the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming and the African Orphan Crops Consortium.
Also present were Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Adan Mohammed and senior government officials.
The Wrigley Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of gum – and a leader in the global confectionery business.
It is a recognized leader in confectioneries with a wide range of products including gum, mints and hard and chew candies.
The company started in 1891 by William Wrigley Jr., who was a businessman selling necessities like soap and baking powder. Wrigley noticed that the sticks of gum he was giving away for free as incentives were proving more popular than the merchandise he was he was selling.