Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has partnered with Safaricom Limited and British American Tobacco Kenya (BAT Kenya) to promote sustainable economic growth through digitization of business processes.
Speaking during the forum, KAM Vice Chair, Mr. Sachen Gudka noted that Kenya is experiencing a paradigm shift as new innovations are replacing old ways of doing business in order to provide solutions to the challenges affecting industry.
“Several skilled developers and programmers have sprung up in innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators across the country to build information and telecom solutions that capitalize on the country’s mix of challenges and opportunities. These technologies are changing how things are being designed, made, and serviced around the globe.
KAM has positioned itself as a leader in the manufacturing space through effective utilization of ICT for business needs, using it to raise the level of awareness of manufacturers on the legal environment, economic and trade statistics as well as other related areas.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become crucial enablers of socio-economic development mainly through reduced transaction costs and enhanced efficiency in connectivity”, added Mr Gudka
BAT East & Central Africa Area Director and BAT Kenya Managing Director, Mrs. Beverley Spencer – Obatoyinbo noted that, “Fundamentally, digitisation has had a positive impact on industry. Beyond impacts on mobile interaction and payments, digitisation has enabled more efficient management of field force, increased productivities in our manufacturing processes and created new opportunities to track our sustainability initiatives.
This notwithstanding, there is opportunity to further address critical aspects, including affordability for commercial business solutions and use of digital integrated systems to harmonise government platforms, such as the KRA excise stamp and the KEBS import standardisation mark (ISM) sticker. This will further facilitate business growth and ultimately, economic growth,” added Mrs. Beverley-Obatoyinbo.
Speaking during the event, Director of Enterprise Business Unit at Safaricom, Ms. Rita Okuthe noted that through digitization, companies can continuously improve and optimise their businesses processes.
“Companies that digitize their processes can improve their bottom lines and delight customers. For example, the use of data analytics can help manufacturing companies create value by improving operational effectiveness and product innovation, as well as unlock new sources of revenue. We believe that for Kenya’s economy to grow, digital transformation must take the lead,” added Ms. Okuthe.
This partnership will provide industry with necessary tools to leverage on data acquisition that is critical for decision making needs that will transform business operations and trade.
The government hopes to raise the contribution of manufacturing sector to GDP from the current 9.2 percent to 15 percent by the year 2022 that will in the process increase jobs by more than 800,000.
Kenya’s appetite for technology is growing with mobile penetration at 80% against 60% globally and 14% in Africa. Manufacturers are keen on leveraging on this to reduce operational costs and risks as well as boost business to business relationships.