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CS Miano pledges to expedite land allocation to investors at Dongo Kundu SEZ

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry,Rebecca Miano, has committed to eradicating bureaucracies in the allocation of land to manufacturers in the 3000-acre Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

CS Miano says there has been a change where the land was transferred from the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

“I believe that there should have been a smooth transition. I am concerned that it has caused a delay of about six months,” she said, promising to have a discussion with KPA to expedite the allocation of lands to investors.

“Can you imagine you have a manufacturer who is ready, and the only thing that is delaying them is a decision on land allocation at Dongo Kundu? I will take that up with the utmost speed so that it is resolved and we minimise the delay,” she added.

The CS stressed the need to attract manufacturers, and the processes should be faster, more efficient, and smooth, devoid of delays that will discourage manufacturers.

Milly glass workers arrange finished bottles ready for the market. Photo by Haniel Mengistu

“It is a wakeup call that even if there are changes in government departments, it must be smooth with minimal delays,” said the CS when she toured the Milly Glass Manufacturing Factory in Mombasa accompanied by Principal Secretary for Industry Dr. Juma Mukhwana.

CS Miano expressed her satisfaction with the success of the glass-making factory that manufactures glasses for local use and exports 25 per cent of their production, thus supporting foreign exchange.

Manufacturing is in line with the Kenya Kwanza government manifesto to promote local manufacturing.

“They employ about 550 employees, which is very good for the economy of the country and getting jobs for our people. They use local materials from local farmers, and there is traceability,” said CS Miano.

Admittedly, the CS said the cost of production is one of the major challenges facing local manufacturers, promising to lead a national dialogue to reduce it.

She added that the only way to increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from manufacturing is by addressing challenges being raised by manufacturers.

“I believe that is a dialogue that we need to have, and our ministry needs to lead that dialogue in the country to see how we can reduce the cost of manufacturing for various products.

That’s the only way we are going to achieve our target of increasing our manufacturing to GDP, which is currently at seven per cent; we have a target to increase that to ten per cent,” elucidated the CS.

The CS welcomed the glass manufacturing plan to expand their plant in Mombasa and commence the manufacturing of pharmaceutical bottles. The country currently imports pharmaceutical bottles.

The factory plans to shift to the Dongo Kundu SEZ in January 2024, and the plant is to be operationalized by 2025.

“It will support the Universal Health Coverage and the cost of medicines and their availability,” stated CS Miano.

Mohamed Rashid, Director Milly, “We are going to work with the government to make sure that by the year 2030, the GDP of manufacturing will be 20 per cent, as per the directive of the President,” said Rashid.

He added that the cost of energy has been a major issue, but they look at it as a challenge in coming up with alternative sources of energy like solar.

By Sadik Hassan

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