Summit to promote competitiveness of locally made products
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) have today launched the 2nd Kenya Manufacturing Summit and Expo that is set to run from 23rd – 25th November 2017.
Under the theme ‘Driving Local Competitiveness to Make Kenya a Manufacturing Hub for Africa‘, the Summit and Expo seeks to promote Buy Kenya, Build Kenya, showcase local content, establish market and financial linkages and promote innovation in industry.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperative CS, Mr. Adan Mohamed noted that the government is keen on growing Kenya’s economy in line with Vision 2030 and the Kenya Industrial Transformation Programme (KITP), and providing high quality jobs and enhance Kenya’s wealth creation objectives.
“Vision 2030 sets apart the manufacturing sector as a key actor for the development of the country’s economy, which has seen Public-Private Partnerships as one of the ways in which Kenya can achieve sustainable competitiveness. Its for this reason that the Ministry has once again partnered with KAM and UNIDO in order to address challenges affecting the competitiveness of Kenyan industries, regionally and internationally,” added Mr. Mohamed.
The 1st Kenya Manufacturing Summit, held in 2016, showcased the need to strengthen Government’s engagement and partnership in addressing the challenges identified by the Vision 2030 and the Kenya Industrial Transformation Programme (KITP) towards Kenya’s industrial transformation. Among the issues highlighted include the reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers across the EAC and Africa, promoting Kenya’s products in regional and international markets, providing tax incentives to enhance manufacturing competitiveness in Kenya.
This year’s Summit and Expo seeks to mobilize development partners to enhance commitment to Kenya’s industrialization process, enhance engagements with all arms of Government and stakeholders in the manufacturing and business sectors, promote sustainable industrialization, foster innovation and exploring market opportunities in the region to enhance Kenya’s and regional industrial development critical in part, to promoting intra Africa trade.
Speaking at the briefing, KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi pointed out that the summit and Expo is an opportunity for industry and stakeholders to deliberate on transforming the nation through industrialization and promoting local industries for industrial growth, job and wealth creation.
“With over 1000 participants, and over 90 exhibitors, we are enhancing dialogue between manufacturers, policy makers and development partners to transform Kenya’s industrialization agenda. Growing the sector’s contribution towards the country’s GDP to 15% remains a focus for the industry. This summit and expo is therefore an opportunity to drive our sector towards this goal, and ultimately increase the competitiveness of locally manufactured products in local, regional and international markets,” added Ms. Mutahi.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Country Representative, Mr. Emmanuel Kalenzi noted that today is an occasion to also observe the Africa Industrialization Day with the theme “African Industrial Development: A Precondition for an Effective and Sustainable Continental Free Trade Area”. The Africa Industrialization day was proclaimed by the UN general assembly in 1989 and is observed globally every 20th of November.
The day is an opportunity for the international community to recommit to support Africa’s industrialization and UNIDO remains a committed partner in the Africa’s industrialization agenda. This day and expo remind of the necessity for Kenya and Africa in general to invest in strengthening the manufacturing sector to transform from a net exporter of raw materials to a producer of high value products which is essential for the creation of jobs and transformation of African economies.