The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has advised Mombasa youths to acquire technical skills in readiness for the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone and the Miritini Industrial Park.
Mustafa Ramadhan, outgoing Chairman of the KNCCI Mombasa chapter and candidate for the KNCCI National Vice Chairman post, said that the coastal city is recovering from the vagaries of COVID-19 and last year’s election, adding, however, that the local tourism sector was doing well.
“I know there are plans by the Mombasa County Government to develop an integrated industrial park in Miritini; we have the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dongo Kundu, and this is progress. Discussions are ongoing on the types of industries we want to attract to these SEZs. We need to get our youth skilled in readiness for the industries that will be set,’’ said Ramadhan.
Ramadhan said there is a need for business people to be prepared and benefit from treaties that Kenya is a signatory to, like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), COMESA, and the EAC common market.
“We don’t want to see a situation where these treaties make us net importers from other countries that are signatories to these treaties. We need to be very biased when making our economic policies towards making Kenya an export country,’’ he said.
The outgoing chairman revealed that talks are in high gear for Twiga Industries to open shop in Mombasa in partnership with more than 300 small businesses.
He was speaking during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Blue Creek Hotel, Mombasa, yesterday.
KNNCI had successfully convinced the County Government to support businesses and allow for staggered payments for single business permits.
“We want to strengthen all the chapters; the Mombasa chapter has been the best. We want to take this experience to the national office to make sure we have 47 centres of excellence,’’ he said, adding that they will help the chapters develop their strategic plans, membership guides, and advocacy agenda.
Abud Jamal, the incoming Chairman is a holder of a Master’s Degree in Maritime Affairs from World Maritime University, Sweden. He was elected unopposed.
Jamal said he will use dialogue to solve challenges facing businesses in Mombasa.
“I will strive to accelerate the blue economy agenda, which is the backbone of Mombasa. The board has representation from all the business sectors. What we want to bring forward is dialogue to address all the challenges; we are still suffering from COVID-19 effects,’’ said Jamal.
Jamal noted that KNCCI has different business categories and that no trader will be forced to join the chamber.
On the Finance Bill 2023, he said it has a lot of challenges and expressed optimism that the government will amend it before it is enacted into law.
By Sadik Hassan