The Kenyan government said on Wednesday it has developed a raft of measures aimed at driving industrialization as well as tackling youth unemployment.
Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the government is banking on development of industrial skills and Small and Micro Small Enterprises (SME’s) as a national priority to create more jobs for the youth,
“It is a step in the direction if the country is to position itself with the demands needed to achieve industrialization in line with the Vision 2030 dream which needs a technical human resource capable of creating an economic development society based on the blueprint,” said Mohamed.
Singling out skills development for technical human resources for the manufacturing sector, Mohammed said his ministry will facilitate youth programs to the needs of the priority sectors laid out in Kenya’s transformative drive towards industrialization.
He said measures have already been undertaken such as the introduction of the Competency Based Educational Training and governance and management of institutions offering Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET).
Mohamed told a Nairobi youth conference hosted by the MasterCard Foundation and Youth Empowerment Institute said the ministry is currently implementing its industrialization roadmap seeking to re-ignite the industrial renaissance of the country.
It has laid out seven key priorities and plans to pursue a raft of ideas to drive rapid impact that will be influential in growing GDP by 4-6 billion U.S. dollars per year for next 17 years from 42 billion dollars to 216 billion dollars under the Vision 2030 ideals.
Recent report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the SME sector employs up to 80 percent of people living in Kenya. It also accounts for 92 percent of all new jobs that are created.
From an economic standpoint- the sector contributes up to 45 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. This is contrasted to a 15 percent contribution, two decades ago.
Mohamed said these statistics point to the fact that the SME sector has stood resilient and has continued to go against the grain in registering growth in economic and human resource absorption, particularly the youth.
“We will be looking at avenues that offer financial support at all stages of the business cycle like seeding, angel investing and venture capital,” Mohamed said.
The progressive measures are expected to provide Kenya with technical trainees with employability professional and industry skills to pave the way for Kenya’s industrialization as outlined in the country’s Vision 2030 strategy.
The conference was intended to promote an innovative and entrepreneurial youth workforce able to transform Kenya’s economic and development agenda.
Further, he said the ministry is creating a favorable regulatory environment for the SME sector to be able to create opportunities through industrial clusters to be developed in the industrialization roadmap.
“Other than creating business linkages, improvement in quality and branding, knowledge and resources, we are enhancing the legal and regulatory environment by lobbying for legislation that could spur SME growth,” Mohamed said.
He added that the ministry will be looking at diversifying access to non-banking credit mechanisms to boost youth entrepreneurs with no means to access affordable credit. Enditem