Discourse on manufacturing in Kenya raises pertinent issues
Date and time: 
Wed, 2018-03-21 15:04

The ‘Manufacturing Kenya’s Future’ discussion at the fourth the edition of the Nation Leadership Forum raised pertinent issues affecting the key industry.

The panelists touched on the challenges faced by large scale manufacturers and small and medium enterprises in Kenya. The debate put key stakeholders including the government, private sector players and consumers at task to promote local products.

The main panelists included the Cabinet Secretary, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Adan Mohamed, the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Phyllis Wakiaga, the General Manager, Coca Cola East and Central Africa Franchise, Ahmed Rao, the Chief Executive Officer, Crown Paints Kenya, Rakesh Rao, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Nairobi, Prof. Bitange Ndemo and the Chief Executive Officer, FUNKIDZ, Wanjiru Waithaka.

Kick starting the discussion, the Cabinet Secretary highlighted the governments’ support for local produce.

“One thing that we should be proud of as a country is that we are one of the few countries in the world who have achieved the SGD goals in terms of clean renewable energy. Kenyan manufacturers should be proud of what they produce,” said Hon. Mohamed. “I am really keen to hear from Kenyans and get to know what is in their minds as far as manufacturing is concerned. We do not have incentives for foreign investors, we have incentives for all investors because what we want to do is attract investment to our country; both domestic and foreign.”

He noted that Kenya faces various challenges that should be addressed.

“Many years back we were in the same position as Singapore and Korea. But over the years, we have had immense underinvestment,” said the Cabinet Secretary. “We were a closed society and people used to wear garments made in Kenya.”

“We tend to ignore the social benefits of manufacturing because this sector has the ability to reduce social inequality and alleviate poverty and increase productivity,” noted Phyllis Wakiaga. “One of the main challenges that affects the ‘Buy Kenyan Build Kenya’ is the cost of production- it constrains the sectors growth. We need to formalize the informal sector. The social importance of the manufacturing sector should not be ignored. It is a sector that can reduce social inequality.”

Prof. Ndemo said that it is important to link technology into manufacturing.

Expiry Date: 
Thu, 2018-05-31 15:04