There is need to enhance productivity and revamp the trade and manufacturing sectors to create jobs for university graduates, Industry, Trade and Co-operatives Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya has said.
Munya noted that despite there being notable improvement in the two sectors, there have been challenges in terms of available job opportunities for Kenyan youth and this has seen many graduates opting for self-employment.
Speaking on Tuesday during a graduate mentorship advisory programme at the University of Nairobi, Munya said that the ministry being an enabler of the Big 4 Agenda was currently under performing.
“The Industries, Trade and Cooperatives sectors in the ministry are behind the Big 4 Agenda with manufacturing as a sub branch of the three being the key creator of jobs,” he said.
However, Munya said the ministry had a target for the manufacturing sector to spur economic growth from 8.5 percent share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 15 percent share and thus create more jobs in the coming years.
“The current situation is that we are not doing very well, in fact we have been going through de-industrialisation,”he emphasised.
De –industrialisation which is the closing down of indigenous industries due to the availability of other cheaper goods from more developed economies is the major challenge in the country, the CS noted.
The solution he noted would be to re-start industrialisation by increasing the volume of trade, introduce structural
adjustments in the market and regulation of standards in production.
Munya commended the country for achieving the 61st position last year in the Ease of Doing Business index as compared to the previous year when it was 139 out of 190 countries according to the World Bank annual ratings.
He acknowledged that there are gaps especially in the import policies but promised there would be a reduction in red tape.
Munya promised that there would be a reduction in energy costs and security in the various sectors in order for the country to enhance trade.
The CS noted that several parts of the country such as Nakuru, Kisumu and Naivasha will benefit from inventions like the introduction of more ports in Kisumu and an industrial park in Naivasha.
Munya thanked management of the UON for actualising the mentorship programme to enlighten students and create links with the outside world and improve networking.
The UON graduate mentorship advisory programme is an initiative which aims at mentoring outgoing graduates with an attempt to build an institutional network between the academia and the corporate world and sensitize them on how the corporate universe works.
By Babra Adhiambo/Philly Opere