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Call to enhance productivity in the trade and manufacturing sector

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

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