Kenya on Sunday said that it is implementing plans to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from current 11 percent to 20 percent in the next ten years. Kenya
Principal Secretary for Industrialization and Enterprise Development Wilson Songa told the 18th BuildExpo Africa in Nairobi that the goal will be achieved through creating appropriate incentives to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.
“The establishment of Special Economic Zones, Free Trade Zones, industrial parks and clusters will help make Kenya a competitive manufacturing destination,” Songa said.
This year’s expo has attracted exhibitors from 35 countries, who will showcase the latest infrastructural development products with over 10,000 products.
Songa said key challenges facing the manufacturing sector include high cost of energy, access to credit as well as inadequate level of human resources.
“As a result, the contribution of manufacturing to national output has remained constant in the past decade,” he said, adding that the government is also instituting other enabling policies and reforms to improve the ease of doing business in Kenya.
“The bureaucratic procedures required to open up a company in Kenya will be benchmarked with the international standards,” he said.
The PS stated that there are currently several infrastructure projects that are being implemented through the Industrialization Roadmap that will assist the manufacturing sector to expand. He said Kenya will focus on building sectors where the country has natural competitive advantage.
“Some of the industries targeted include the leather, textiles and clothing, agro-processing, furniture as well as the cooperative movement,” he added.
The government official also said his ministry will encourage the growth of small and medium enterprises (SEMs) so that they are as competitive as their global peers, adding that the ongoing restructuring of government owned industries is aimed at improving their competitiveness. Enditem