Residents of Western Kenya region should fully utilize the ultra-modern facilities available at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) Kisumu to produce high quality products able to compete favorably on the global market.
Industrialization CS Betty Maina said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have great potential to stimulate the economy which took a beating following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Maina said although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the disruption in the country’s economy and made it difficult to access funds for the Constituency Industrial Development Centres (CIDCs), the SMEs through value addition using locally available leather and textile products could reverse the trend.
The CS toured Uhuru Market, KIRDI Kisumu and later Boya in Nyando sub-county where one of the six CIDCs stand was built at a total cost of Sh17 million.
She said industrialization is one of the key pillars of the Jubilee government and so respective county governments should also play a pivotal role by increasing budgetary allocations towards supporting the innovation centers.
Maina advised KIRDI, CIDC and SMEs to take the bold step and consistently market themselves by stepping up the manufacturing of high quality local products able to compete favorably on the global scale.
“The national government has embarked on the improvement of the business environment for sustainable job and wealth creation for our people. This, however, requires that members of such SMEs should pull together if they hope to attract support from the relevant partners,” she advised.
The CS also took time to visit Uhuru Business Park built by the national government at a cost of Sh300 million. The facility will accommodate traders kicked out of the streets to pave way for the renovations ahead of the 2021 Afri-cities conference.
Speaking at Boya CIDC, Maina appealed to local residents to jealously guard the huge government investments aimed at improving their economic status.
She challenged the traders to plan well and stop incidents where those charged with managing SMEs maneuvered to transfer the pieces of land where such projects stand to their names.
She revealed that it will take slightly over a month for the requisite machinery to be delivered alongside power installation which will be done within a month, after which those mandated to oversee the project will be held to account.
“We must be able to maintain, clean and regularly service the machinery to ensure that they function properly and guard against theft. Members will be charged a small fee for this undertaking,” added the CS.
By Milton Onyango/Fredrick Ajok/Joseph Ouma