The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has launched this year’s Manufacturing Priority Agenda 2017 under the theme “Driving industrial transformation for job creation and inclusive economic growth”.
By Brian Kithinji
The MPA focuses on emerging public policy, a review of the current business environment and relevant regulations, as well as a vision to industrialise for the benefit of Kenya’s economy. The guide details the need for investment in technical skills, creating a nurturing environment for SMEs with a special emphasis on women and youth enterprises, and making Kenya an export hub thereby increasing the competitiveness for local business.
During his keynote address, Principal Secretary, State Department of Industry and Investment Mr. Julius Korir stated that the government is keen on working with private stakeholders to achieve the manufacturing agenda. “The government is working towards ensuring that the manufacturing agenda becomes the only government agenda. I’m glad to see that the recommendations made in this year’s Manufacturing Priority Agenda are aligned with the Kenya Industrial Transformation Programme.”
KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi stated that KAM will continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders towards the development of the industry. “The Government has indeed shown willingness to engage with Industry towards the realisation of vision 2030 from our past MPAs. This year we look forward to working even more closely, not just to advocate for better regulations for business, but more so to develop a manufacturing policy that will address issues of inclusive growth and economic stability for our nation. We strongly believe industrialisation of our country should be a priority for all citizens, with a view to drive the creation of wealth and productive jobs.”
As the country fast approaches the General Elections scheduled for August 8th, Ms. Mutahi offered a word of caution, “Elections are supposed to be a process and not a deterrent to our current democratic progress. Hence as the business community, we would like to see a show of leadership from both the opposition and current government in guiding a peaceful and transparent transition.”
The priority areas will be driven under five key pillars which, if strengthened, will lead to a more competitive environment and impactful economic gains for Kenya’s industrial sector. The pillars are Policy, Legal and Regulatory Reforms, Level playing field for manufacturing in Kenya, Competitive Local Manufacturing Sector, Make Kenya a manufacturing hub for Exports, and Securing the future of Industry.
Kenya’s economy grew by 6 percent in 2016 according to the National Treasury.