Kenya seeks to expand sector with launch blueprint
17 September 2015, 21:35
Nairobi - Kenya plans to expand its
manufacturing export sector as it launched the first ever Industrialization
Blueprint on Wednesday, geared at positioning the country as Africa's next
The decade-long plan, dubbed Kenya's Industrial
Transformation Programme (KITP), looks beyond import-substitution and export-led
policy regime to develop its industries, stimulating Kenya's ambitions as
Africa's next industrial power
Cabinet Secretary Industrialization and Enterprise
Development Adan Mohammed who launched the blueprint in Nairobi said Kenya has
identified 10 opportunities within the key strategies that will increase
manufacturing sector jobs to 435,000 additional jobs in the next 5 years and
add 2.85 billion U.S. dollars to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"We also plan to offer incentives for local value
addition for multinational companies to consider creating opportunities for
SME's by investing in group packaging," Mohamed said, noting that these
efforts will attract between 200-240 million dollars in value addition and
Kenya's large industrial sector has seen its share of GDP
increase very little over the past two decades.
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assets agency holding KES 3.3 billion
The sector, despite its potential, has not been dynamic
enough to function as "an engine for growth" for the Kenyan economy
as has been the case of newly emerging economies.
Anchored on a five-point strategy, prioritizing leveraging
Kenya's comparative advantages, the plan aims at growing the manufacturing
sector to levels above 15 percent of GDP from a static 11 percent over the past
"As an emerging economy, moving from agriculture based,
low income economy to an industrial, middle income economy, it is paramount
that the manufacturing share to GDP increases," said Mohammed.
Under the plan, Kenya will build and innovate on its export
engines and continue to support them.
"To boost production and exports, Kenya will work to
ease regulations on the sale of the exports while looking to attract a 50-100
percent price premium by marketing tea and coffee as a 'Made in Kenya' brand
internationally," Mohammed said.
The East African nation is also eyeing on capitalizing on
agro-processing's global market worth 14.7 billion dollars.
"The government is working on attracting investors to
develop three to five large integrated value chain 'Agropolis' projects with
potential to yield 300 million dollars in GDP and create up to 60,000
jobs," he said.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) CEO Phyllis Wakiaga
said building capacity of Kenya's local construction companies could yield
95-190 million dollars in GDP and create 30,000 jobs from the bludgeoning
"While vision 2030 lays out in broad strokes of our
development, the roadmap is contained in the newly released KITP. This plan
builds on that broad vision and further outlines how we are going to be
industrialised in the remaining 15 years of the blueprint," Wakiaga said.
The plan also discusses the construction sector, the textile
sector, the leather sector, the oil and gas sector and other age old sectors
such as tourism for growth initiatives.
What stands out as well in the KITP is the intention of the
plan to establish various facilities in various counties as a way of promoting
development on the counties depending on the resources available in the
Under the plan, Mohammed said the government will focus on
creating an enabling environment as Kenya seeks to transition to higher-value
added manufacturing sectors.
He said the government will focus on upgrading investment
targeting strategies to attract local capital and foreign direct investment.
Mohamed said the government plans to enforce the "Buy
Kenyan, Build Kenya" policy to nip Kenya's huge 780 million dollars
textile and apparel import bill.
"We will be expanding to new geographical markets in textiles
and apparel growth. and building an industrial park with a textile cluster in
Naivasha to take advantage of natural power sources," he said.
Other efforts will include marketing Kenya leather products
abroad and securing international sourcing contracts for leather products.
Mohamed said the blueprint commits to work build on capacity
of local firms to profit from Kenya's infrastructure and investments boom.