Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The relationship between Thika Town and Birmingham City

A reader asked me why Thika is known as the Birmingham of Kenya and what is the relationship between the two cities. Birmingham is a metropolitan town in England and it happens to be the one of the most populous towns in the United Kingdom with a population of more than 3.6M people.

The town was at the center of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century which gave it it the title of the first manufacturing town in the world. Today, Birmingham is the 72rd largest town economy and the second in the UK after London.
On the other hand,Thika development as a metropolitan is a similar story with Birmingham. Its one of the top industrial town in Kenya. Before the emergence of Athi River town, Thika's position in industrial development was undisputed. Thika has basically all spheres of industrial development spanning dozens of decades. The metropolitan nature of Thika is evident in its population. The Kikuyu form the largest population in Thika but there are large numbers of other Kenyan tribes. The Akamba, Luhya, Luo, Maasai, Somali and others. On the other hand, Thika is among the top 3 towns in Kenya in terms of Hindu population. All these Kenyans are all employed by Thika Industrial establishments. When planning the town's future development plan, the administrators in Thika drew parallels with Birmingham Town due to the endless similarities. On this onset, the main objective is to plan a similar blueprint to catapult Kenya to economic success that is enjoyed by Birmingham city.
The main industry in Thika has to be the Delmonte Group.
Formerly known as Kenya Canners, the conglomerate is the main grower,processor and exporter of a large proportion of canned pineapples globally. They are owners of thousands of acres of land and employers of many Kenyans. All these workers live around the Thika Town.
Bidco Oil Refineries is home to most of the consumer products found in Kenyan kitchens. Elianto,Golden fry,Cowboy,Kimbo,Chipsy,Ufuta,Mariandazi, Power boy, Gold band, Mallo, Sungold, Nuru soap among many others. Every-time you visit your supermarket, 60% of the cooking fat has been produced by Bidco.
They are producers and marketers of these brands and employer to hundreds of Thika residents in both skilled and casual. The company is located along Thika High School Lane junction with the Thika Garissa Highway.
The British American Tobacco (BAT) is also a major player in the Thika Industrial sector. Its the main threshing point for the larger BAT Kenya. They are also located along the Thika-Garissa Highway near Makongeni. Of 10 casual laborers in Thika,one works at BAT Thika. BAT Kenya is a subset of the larger British American Tobacco whose headquarters are in London,UK
If we talk Industries in Thika, we can take weeks. That is why Thika Live starting today will dedicate Tuesdays to showcasing the industries in Thika in depth.
Have yourself a Wonderful Tuesday.

Images courtesy of Google
Images courtesy of Google
Images courtesy of Google


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