The government should implement the African Union’s directive barring exportation of raw materials in their raw state to international markets.
According to the chair, Fiscal Studies, at the University of Nairobi Prof. Attiya Warris, this will help those in the informal sector access the raw material and grow the manufacturing sector.
About five years ago, the African Union proposed that member states restrict export of raw materials to support the local manufacturing value chain.
The move was aimed at boosting technical know-how and availability of raw resources for local manufacturers.
Of the 53 African member states, only Rwanda and Ethiopia have embraced the policy.
According to the chair, Fiscal Studies, at the University of Nairobi Prof. Attiya Warris, those in the informal sector, struggle to access raw materials, which impact the country’s economic growth.
This emerged at a time when companies across the world are embracing automation of production and services.
According to Kenya Institute of Economic Affairs, CEO, Kwame Owino, the government should have measures in place beforehand, to counter the inevitable digitization change that could see some losing their jobs to automation.
Nonetheless, there is immense development opportunities that digitalization of production and services brings.
In 2006, during the signing of memorandum of understanding between 22 African companies and Japanese, Deputy President William Ruto called on African countries to drive growth by exporting more of finished products instead of raw materials.
Ruto said time was ripe for the continent to make use of its resources and stop relying on direct aid from donors.
He said there is need for African countries to discourage themselves from exporting raw materials and create value chains that will lead to the exportation of finished goods.
“By investing in agro-processing, value addition and manufacturing, we will be able to address the challenge of jobs, thus creating income for our people,” said DP Ruto.
“As a continent we should do more to ensure we export finished goods from the raw materials we posses,” he added.