Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has launched its annual Manufacturing Priority Agenda (MPA) of 2019 that seeks to close the manufacturing gap through the Big 4 Agenda for shared prosperity.
Currently, the manufacturing sector contributes 8.37 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is short of the 15 per cent proposed in the President’s Big 4 Agenda leaving a gap of 6.63 per cent to achieve this goal.
“KAM has sought to promote prosperity in the country by growing its manufacturing sector, gaining the attention of the business community and the government,” said KAM Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga.
Speaking at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday, the CEO highlighted the five pillars of this agenda which include competitiveness and level playing field for manufacturers in Kenya, enhancing market access for manufactured goods, pro-industry policy and institutional framework, government driven SME’s growth and development, and securing the future of the manufacturing industry.
State Department for Investment and Industry Principal Secretary(PS) Ms Betty Maina noted industrialisation is the driving force for any economy.
“No country has grown without industrialisation. This is why the Government has prioritised the manufacturing sector under the Big 4 Agenda. The Manufacturing Priority Agenda that we have launched provides information on key areas that the manufacturing sector would like the Government to focus on, in order to drive the competitiveness of industry.
“However, as we continue to address these challenges, we require businesses to expand their investments as it is a sure way to grow our economy and create employment opportunities,” added Ms. Maina.
Chairman, National Assembly Committee on Trade & Industry, Mr. Kanini Kega noted that “We need to have all arms of Government engaging at all times to ensure a holistic approach to addressing issues. We also encourage business to engage in the public participation processes.”
KAM Vice Chairman, Mr. Muchai Kunyiha said that for Kenya to realise its industrialisation goals, there is need for deliberate and predictable policy interventions.
“For Kenya to achieve its Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030 goals, our approach towards the manufacturing sector has to change. It must be business unusual,” said Muchai
He added that there was need to prioritise its productivity by making it profitable for local companies to export again, boosting their capacity to expand within the country and focusing on SME growth and productivity.
“This is only attainable if we put in place policies that will promote the competitiveness of local industry, encourage value addition and diversity of locally manufactured products,” added Mr. Muchai.
This Agenda seeks to increase the value and volume of exports, contribute to job creation in the country and benefit the consumers in terms of manufacturing.
By Samuel Kitavi