Kenya strives to improve value chain in manufacturing sector

The State Department of Industrialization is putting in place transformative programs and interventions to optimize the potential of the value chain in the manufacturing sector.

The Principal Secretary Industrialization, in the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives (PS), Ms, Betty Maina said the programs and interventions will be undertaken in the textile, leather, agro-processing, and beef, dairy, coffee, tea and fish sectors.

She said the interventions are aimed at creating an enabling environment for business growth, investment promotion, micro, small and medium enterprises development and development of special economic zones among others.

The PS made the remarks on Thursday in a speech read on her behalf by the Director of Industries, Julius Kirima during the Third Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) festival held at the University of Nairobi.

The two-day event has brought together entrepreneurs, policy makers, investors and industry leaders to network and share on growth opportunities.

She said according to the 2016 Economic Survey, the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program identified SMEs as the fastest growing business segment and a key pillar to Kenya’s economy, contributing close to 25 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and over 50 percent employment opportunities, while the informal sector contributed over 80 percent of jobs.

We will focus on transforming Kenya into a primary industrial hub of Africa, delivering the country from the current situation of unemployment, poverty, low value exports, negative balance of trade and low economic development, said Maina.

The PS noted that Kenya was ranked the third most improved economy globally in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Reports, as well as moved 56 places in the last three years from position 136 to 80.

On ease of doing business, the PS announced that the country’s economy picked up through a collaborative approach within the government in the last three years making an unprecedented business reforms both at the National and County levels.

The introduction of one-stop facility through Huduma Centre has further reduced the information gap and information asymmetry on business procedures and requirements hence boosting the country’s economy, she added.

She said the automation of most business regulations and services, introduction of electronic payment systems and consolidating of business costs have increased the ease and speed of doing business.

The PS Maina also disclosed that the government through her ministry has also put in place many initiatives targeting the SME sector with a view of facilitating their conception, emergence, growth and graduation to medium and large enterprises.

I am confident that SMEs will be the key enablers of growth in the manufacturing sector in the Big Four Agenda because they form the bedrock for Industrial development and are the backbone of the economy, added the PS.

Dr. Muthoni Ngatia, the Chief Executive Officer of Open Business Africa said that the Vision 2030 pillar has set out strategies that will strengthen the SMEs sector to grow and innovate.

The SMEs Fest 2018 Conference is set to inspire and challenge the entrepreneurs for the Big Four Agenda and to create an opportunity for manufacturing in the agri-business and agro-industry sector.

Source: Kenya News Agency