Kenya bets on manufacturing sector to hasten economic growth
The Kenyan government has rolled out a range of policy and regulatory incentives to spur growth of the manufacturing sector which is key to attracting foreign direct investments and job creation, an official said on Monday
Julius Korir, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization, said in a commentary published by a local daily on Tuesday that Kenya is betting on the manufacturing sector to achieve the next phase of socio-economic transformation.
“The contribution of industrialization in the growth of Kenyan economy cannot be discounted. Historically, Kenya has had major policy regimes to aid effective industrialization,” Korir said.
Kenya launched a comprehensive blue print to spur growth of the manufacturing sector last year.
Korir said both the public and private sectors are united in efforts to hasten implementation of a national manufacturing policy.
“This policy aims at increasing the current level of manufacturing in the GDP from 11 to 15 percent. It will be instrumental in the implementation of the Kenya industrial transformation program,” said Korir.
Kenya aims to produce high value competitive goods in order to boost its export prowess.
According to Korir, the east African nation will upgrade its services and transport infrastructure to support growth of a vibrant manufacturing base.
“The manufacturing sector cannot be separated from the service industry. Development of infrastructure, innovations such as ICT and mobile phones are key to growth of the sector,” Korir remarked.
Kenya has potential to overtake other African rivals to become a manufacturing hub subject to political goodwill, policy reforms and capacity development.
The PS for industrialization noted that a vibrant manufacturing sector will have multiplier effects to the economy.
“A thriving textile industry for instance can reward cotton farmers, sustain industries that produce soap and create employment,” said Korir, adding the East African States have prioritized support for textile and leather sectors
He revealed that in Kenya, the leather value chain alone has the potential to create over 35,000 jobs and generate 250 million U.S. dollars through value added exports.