Pepsi seeks to empower youths, women

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THE success of soft drink manufacturer Pepsi Zimbabwe is testimony of the country’s attractiveness to investment and impact of President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Speaking at the hand over of fridges, pushcarts and cooler boxes to businesses by the company in Bulilima East at the weekend, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said the company had shown huge interest in growing together with the people it served.

Fridges were given to outlets that were already selling the company’s products and demonstrated ability or potential to sell more.

The pushcarts and cooler boxes are a double pronged initiative meant to empower communities by presenting entrepreneurial opportunities, while growing the Pepsi business in the informal sector.

Recipients were selected from different communities with major focus on the disadvantaged including women, youths and people living with disabilities.

The company which was represented by the head for the southern region and Manicaland Mr Durgesh Jain, also donated 300 x 10kgs of maize meal to vulnerable groups and 25 soccer balls to the community.

Minister Ndlovu said when President Mnangagwa came into power, he opened the country for business by removing unnecessary bottlenecks.

“Pepsi is not a small company, it’s a multinational company found in more than 70 percent of the countries in the world. If you go to the biggest economies, Pepsi is leading.

“Pepsi came to Zimbabwe around 2018 and have spread all over the country and today you can hardly find a beverages retail shop without Pepsi products,” said Minister Ndlovu.

He said Pepsi responded to President Mnangagwa’s clarion call for businesses to invest in Zimbabwe.

Minister Ndlovu said the company, which had so far invested more than US$40 million in Zimbabwe, was committed to developing communities.

“I worked with them when I was Industry and Commerce Minister and I must say I admire the confidence they have in Zimbabwe. Pepsi is not a company that wants to grow alone, but wants to grow with communities. What they are doing here in Plumtree today was also done in other areas around Zimbabwe,” said Minister Ndlovu.

He said some companies just want to make huge profits, but the story was completely different with Pepsi which wants to grow together with the communities.

“Whenever I spoke to Pepsi about this project, they said Minister we are coming to Plumtree to empower women. I insisted that in the list of beneficiaries, 70 percent should be women.”

Minister Ndlovu said the event was an example of Government’s good working relations with businesses.

He called on the recipients to put them to good use so that they benefit.

“Let us make this work so that tomorrow another company can emulate this for our benefit,” he said.

The Minister of State in Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga’s office, Evelyn Ndhlovu also hailed the company for its community programmes that benefit the people. Pepsi Zimbabwe area manager for Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo Mr Nkosiyethu Wenha said investing in Zimbabwe was the company’s greatest move.

“We believe strongly in the empowerment of the vulnerable including women and young people. We believe that empowering women is empowering the nation,” said Mr Wenha.–herald.co.zw

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