The ministry of Industrialization in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has launched feasibility report of the first anchor project of the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park (IAIP) in Kenya.
Aiming at job creation, the study clearly demonstrates the viability of the IAIP and the suitability of Nyamira as the central location. It will also benefit eight other neighbouring counties of Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Kisii, Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Vihiga that are in the catchment zone of the park.
Speaking on behalf of Principal Secretary Amb. Kirimi Kaberia, Industrialization Secretary Mr. Hezekiah Okeyo said the launched report will create about 51,000 jobs.
Kaberia noted that the program will accelerate the Vision 2030 linkage through inclusive industrial development, leaving no one behind.
“Through the project, the farmer will have the capacity to produce while the industry will have to be resilient to the dynamics of the world climate change and therefore, the green industry being one of the components,” said Kaberia.
Nevertheless, the PS cited inadequate fit for purpose infrastructure facilities, limited access to finance for Industrial development, low technology utilization and low uptake of innovation for commercialization as some of the challenges the industrialization sector was facing.
Kaberia expressed that with UNIDO expertise and technical support, opportunities in green industries and in innovative industrial park will help in addressing the challenges.
“We are happy that the role of the manufacturing sector will be realized through this programme because we want to facilitate, promote and walk with them starting from Micro, Small, Medium and Large Industries as well as providing linkages among themselves.
In her remarks, Officer in Charge of UNIDO Country Office, Ms. Kawira Bucyana stated that the report is timely and very useful analytical tool for building resilience. She explained that the program is designed to leverage additional investment in selected priority sectors.
Overall, Kawira noted that the IAIP supports agro-food processing in the entire region thereby contributing to increased food security, job creation, improved livelihoods and ultimately economic development.
“For the global economy to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, internationally coordinated actions need to be taken and the industrial sector must be central to these efforts,” said Kawira.
She added that the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that industrialized countries performed better and were more resilient to the Covid shock.
Representing Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO, Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy Mr. Job Wanjohi termed the launched report as a great initiative. “No country can grow without enhancing export intensity,” said Wanjohi, adding that industrial competitiveness is very important for good production.
The Nyamira IAIP feasibility report is a pilot project under the Kenya Self-starter, Programme for Country Partnerships (PCP) which is UNIDO’s innovative model for accelerating inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Member States.
The program is aligned with the national development agenda and focused on sectors with high growth potential and also supports a country in achieving its industrial development goals.
By Catherine Muindi