The government has called upon Kenyans to buy local products so as to grow the country’s economy.
Speaking today at Kasarani Stadium during the launch of the 4th Kenya Manufacturing Summit and Expo, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Dr.Lawrence Karanja said Kenyans should appreciate the creativity of their manufacturers and support them so as to better the Kenyan products.
The CAS said the Expo dubbed Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival, is an opportunity for the manufacturers to showcase the existing internal capacity to produce goods for the market.
He said the government is implementing several measures to drive Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) growth in the country noting that the measures are meant to prop up SMEs to be more competitive.
With the economy set to expand at 6 per cent in 2022, the CAS urged the manufacturing sector not to hold back its investment planning because of the August 2022 elections.
The CAS said the Biashara Centres have been established across the country as part of efforts to promote the manufacturing and industrialization initiatives.
“The Biashara Centres are designed to bring trade facilitators under one roof to promote the ease of doing business and to enhance market access for the manufacturers especially the SMEs”, said the CAS.
Karanja said the government has re-affirmed the 30 per cent deduction in the cost of energy and will become a reality within the coming days upon President Uhuru Kenyatta’s return from a series of trade missions.
In his remarks Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chairman Mucai Kunyiha called upon the government to deepen its support for local small and medium sized producers to transition successfully into larger enterprises.
Kunyiha noted that the rate of transition for local SMEs remained dismal at less than 10 per cent per year.
“The strength of our economy is dependent on the quality of manufacturing. We are here to showcase the physical products we are manufacturing in Kenya. The manufacturing sector is also creating jobs. The 300,000 jobs and services we are creating is a testament to the capacity of the manufacturing sector,” said Kunyiha.
He said that Kenyan SMEs stood to lose to other neighbouring countries who are also ramping up their productive capacity and leveraging on their proximity to countries in the African hinterland that make up the larger promising potential market.
Speaking during the Expo, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga, said the exhibition was an opportunity to popularize the locally manufactured goods and services and their quality.
“We are showcasing the manufacturing sector’s diversity. The exhibition will also work to dispel the notion that locally produced products are low quality,” said Wakiaga.
The Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival summit, hosted by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), brought together more than 120 participants and shall end on Friday November 26th.
By Catherine Muindi