The government is developing a work plan that will ensure cottage industries play a pivotal role in the transformation of the country’s economy, through the improvement of manufacturing sector especially in rural areas.
Subsequently, the staff and heads of all semi-autonomous government agencies under the State Department of Industrialization are holding a two-day retreat in Meru County to come up with a clear roadmap towards the achievement of this goal.
Addressing journalists during opening of the retreat, Industrialisation Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia said during the two-day engagement, they will be looking at ways in which they can transform the department to start delivering for the small and medium enterprises.
Kaberia said manufacturing is part of the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big-four agenda and should be delivered in the next one year and beyond.
“We want to ensure that we have small functional industries in rural areas that can deliver employment, production and bring technology and other services at the grassroots level,” he said.
The PS said this will be achieved by taking resources to the rural areas and developing opportunities for the youth so that they are able to participate in growth of the country’s economy.
“For a long time, we have been talking about manufacturing and the creation of jobs, but this will only be possible if we re-establish the power and production at the grassroots level being spearheaded by the young people,” said Kaberia.
On his part, Industrialization Chief Administrative Secretary David Osiany said the President had envisioned the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product to be 15 per cent and beyond and the retreat was meant to come up with ways to ensure this was achieved.
“We have had issues of Covid-19 and so as we try to rise out of the rubble of the crisis, we have to rejig and relook our strategy so that it meets the original intention and mandate of the President.
It has to speak to his legacy as he envisioned it regardless of the challenges that we have faced not only as a country but globally,” said Osiany.
He added: “Following the pandemic, supply chains have been affected with some companies being shut down, but it is within our purview to do our best to resuscitate the ones we can and also form new ones.”
Trade Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Karanja said they were also looking into ways in which they will support manufacturers and cottage industries at different levels in all corners of the country in order to deliver the promise that was made to Kenyans.
By Dickson Mwiti