Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua delivering a keynote address during the 30th Anniversary of Solution Sacco in Meru County. He urged the Sacco movement to embrace technology and innovation for client-centred products. PHOTO/DPCS.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday urged Savings and Cooperative Societies(Saccos) to tap into the digital economy in a bid to expand their investment portfolios and enhance businesses.
Mr Gachagua said Sacco’s must be innovative to tap into the emerging high-value market bases like the digital economy.
He spoke in Meru town at the 30th Anniversary Celebrations of Solution Sacco. The Deputy President also officially opened a new branch for Sacco and joined it as a member. The Government, he said at the Kinoru Stadium, is already investing in the digital economy to create more job opportunities for the youth.
“While we boast of the growth in membership and deposits, we must be innovative to tap into emerging high-value- but ignored market bases like the digital economy. Under the Ministry of ICT, we are rolling out a 100,000 kilometre digital superhighway to create more job opportunities in the online platforms,” said the Deputy President.
He was enlisted as a member of the Solution Sacco and deposited some money in the savings account.
The Deputy President praised the Sacco for it’s growth and being a tier one Sacco with an asset base of Sh8.3 billion, deposits of over Sh5 billion and a membership exceeding 27,000 from different sectors.
He said the achievement of the Sacco confirms solution to most problems in the society lies with having a good leadership.
Noting that the Kenya Kwanza Government has put robust measures to ensure successful implementation of the digital economy, Mr Gachagua added that the digital economy presents new grounds for expansion of the customer base to Saccos if they innovate and provide products responsive to the needs of the youth in the digital spaces.
He also challenged the Saccos to consider integrating technology like artificial intelligence to improve their service delivery.
The DP was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Mithika Linturi (Agriculture) and Simon Chelugui (Cooperatives), Principal Secretary State Department for Co-operatives Patrick Kilemi, Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza and her Laikipia counter Joshua Irungu, the Sacco’s CEO Mr Daniel Kinyua Marete and Chairman Mr Francis Muriithi.
Other leaders present were Meru Woman Representative Elizabeth Kailemia, Kirinyaga senator Kamau Murango and MPs John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), Rahim Dawood (North Imenti), Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri), Moses Nguchine Kirima (Central Imenti), Daniel Karitho (Igembe Central) and Igembe North (Julius Taitumu).
Mr Gachagua, who was representing President William Ruto at the event, also called on the Saccos to recruit the youth in the cooperative movement.
“Including the youth into the cooperative movement makes them part of the solutions to the day to day challenges like Cyber crimes. Against rising competition from other institutions, there is need to tailor products to tap into the informal sectors as well as the creative, sports and artisan sections of our economy,” said Mr Gachagua.
“We want to enhance the saving culture in Kenya so that we borrow our own money. Initially we used to borrow from foreign countries money saved by citizens of those countries. Here we were not saving. People used to save Sh200 monthly but we have changed the law to allow you to save substantially. I commend all those people who are saving so that they can plan for the future, plan for their children and society at large,” he added.
He stated that the Government is committed to work with the cooperative movement in creating sustainable communities under the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda.
“Under the Kenya Kwanza Plan, cooperatives play a key role in aggregation of produce for better returns to farmers. A stable cooperative movement is a key pillar as we lead public sector reforms, specifically in the Tea, Coffee and Dairy sub-sectors,” he stated.