By Claire Wanja/Statement
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MoITC), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) on Wednesday launched the first ever Manufacturing Summit and Expo in the East African region.
Under the theme ‘Growth Opportunities in Kenya Manufacturing Sector’, the three-day Expo and Summit aims at promoting business partnerships and identifying binding constraints impeding the sector’s growth.
The annual event also seeks to improve the global competitiveness of locally manufactured products which will enhance Kenya’s industrial statistics and increase employment opportunities.
The summit will be a forerunner for the African Industrialization Day, 2016. The Day is intended to mobilize the commitment of the international community to the industrialization of Africa, and is also recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Agenda 9). This agenda looks to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Adan Mohamed stated that in order to achieve national objectives set out in the Vision 2030 and the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program (KITP), the private sector should play its part in developing competitive manufacturing for the region this will promote productivity, create wealth and increase job opportunities for all Kenyans.
Through the KITP, the government seeks to expand the share of Kenya’s manufacturing sector to gross domestic product (GDP) from 10 per cent to 15 per cent by the year 2030. KAM has positioned itself to play a critical role in engaging government towards the realization of industrialization in Kenya by supporting the growth of SMEs, creating jobs, enhancing competitiveness of the manufacturing sector through promotion of local industries and ensuring a level playing field for Manufacturers in Kenya
Speaking at the Summit and Expo, KAM CEO, Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga stated that, “With over 1000 participants, and over 100 exhibitors, we are enhancing dialogue between manufacturers, policy makers and development partners to strengthen the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative.
The World Bank has ranked Kenya 92 globally in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2017. This Expo aims to identify binding constraints in the competitiveness of Kenya and to make recommendations that can make kenya move up the rank in the global market”, added Ms. Wakiaga.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Country Representative, Mr. Emmanuel Kalezi noted that the summit was the best way to mark the Africa Industrialization day, adding that it stands in line with its objective. He said that the event has mobilized the international community and development partners, that are paramount to the achievement of the industrialization agenda for Africa.
The three-day event will also see diverse speakers in various sectors of the economy, engage in constructive discussions in different aspects of manufacturing including manufacturing industry competitiveness, financing and partnerships, trade development opportunities and industrial transformation.