By Stephen Makabila
Imarisha Sacco Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Mathew Rotich has urged youths in the country to join and invest in Saccos for their own economic advancement.
Rotich who was confirmed as Imarisha CEO in February this year, noted that most Saccos have ageing members and young people need to join particularly at the top echelons of Sacco management to ensure those ageing pass the mantle of leadership to the next generation for continuity’s sake.
Rotich spoke during this year’s well attended Simba Chai Sacco Annual Delegates Conference (ADM), where he was among invited guests who graced the colourful occasion hosted at Kericho Primary School in Kericho County.
Other invited guests at the event included Imarisha Sacco Board Chairman, Mathew Ruto and Kenya Highlands Sacco Board Chairman, Mr. Richard Mutai.
“Sacco leaders should encourage young people to join as members by introducing youth friendly products and services,” observed Rotich.
The CEO’s clarion call on youths is in line with the National Government’s initiative, which has in recent months been calling on Saccos in the country to introduce youth friendly products to win over young people, who form majority of the Kenyan population, into joining savings co-operatives.
According to the State Department of Co-operative Development, some of the current products and services offered by Saccos were not attractive to youth membership, and the result was that young Kenyans were shying away from Saccos.
“Co-operatives must grow with time and target youths for future membership through friendly products. You cannot tell a youth about pension. Let there be products that are attractive to youths,” a senior ministry official had told The Sacco Review in an earlier interview.
The Government’s and Sacco leaders’ concern comes in the recent wake of an emerging crisis over the ageing population in Sacco membership in the country. While most of the current Sacco members are ageing and becoming inactive, there are fears young and energetic professionals have not fully embraced the idea of belonging to Saccos.
Speaking at the Simba Chai ADM, Imarisha Sacco Board Chairman, Mr Ruto urged the Sacco to open up its common bond and attract more membership.
“You should review your common bond and be able to win membership from your traditional targets for purposes of growth,” noted Ruto.
Kenya Highlands Board chairman Mr. Mutai on his part congratulated his Simba Chai counterpart Joseph Mitei for emerging the Chairman of the Year 2017 in the prestigious Champions of Governance (COG) Awards.
“We were together in Nairobi during the awards and when you won; we were happy because glory came to South Rift. It shows Saccos in the South Rift region are on the right growth trajectory,” noted Mutai.