In a bid to expand its customer and revenue base, Unaitas today officially opened its 25th branch in Kisumu and the greater Western Kenya Region.
Speaking during the event, Unaitas CEO Tony Mwangi said that they want the people of Kisumu to be part of the transformation and economic development.
Mwangi reitereated that the Sacco will focus on areas of agriculture such as avocado farming where it has set aside Ksh 1.5 billion to be used for the next 3 years. They will also support agrisbusiness as well as rice and fish farming where they will partner with beach management units.
Unaitas public relations and customer care officer Sam Otieno said the branch has been operational for the last two months but officially launched today coincides with the sacco’s silver jubilee celebrations.
He added that more branches will be opened in Nyanza, Western, Eastern and the Coast regions.
The Rt. Hon. Raila who was the key speaker in the launch stressed on the need to focus on the saving culture and investments as it is the only way through which we can transform our economy and nation. He reiterated that we must endeavor to break the vicious cycle of poverty by saving and investing appropriately.
“Our strategic plan is to open five branches annually. In this region, we target to open branches in Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kakamega and Busia,” he said.
The official said the sacco has a membership of 400,000 in Kenya, US, Asia and Europe. “Actually, 16 per cent of our members are in the diaspora,” Otieno said.
“In this region, we shall partner with local saccos to empower them financially. Fish farmers and fishermen who have been exploited by middlemen will benefit from our products.”
Otieno said a moratorium has already been deposited at the Central Bank of Kenya to transform the sacco into a commercial bank.
Unaitas CEO Tony Mwangi said expansion plans are the result of increased demand for financial services.
He said there are more opportunities from devolution, urbanisation and a young population keen on entrepreneurship.
Unaitas disbursed more than Sh2 billion in loans to 5,000 groups (chamas) last year.
Having been launched in 1993 to serve tea growers then known as the Murang’a Tea Growers, the financial institution changed the name to Muramati in 2007 and later rebranded to Unaitas in 2012.