Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the International Trade Centre have launched reports on sustainable Textile and Leather Sectors in East Africa. The reports were prepared within the framework of ITC’s Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) programme.
The reports are set to guide industry players and policy makers, in aligning their manufacturing processes and policy, with global trends.
Speaking during the launch, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Ms Betty Maina noted that it is paramount that Kenyan manufacturers embed sustainability in their operations, to keep up with international trends.
“Now, more than ever, government is committed to providing an enabling environment, to provide for unfettered green growth. As a country, we have attained major milestones in renewable energy resources, agriculture, water harvesting, environmental legislation, sound waste management through recycling efforts and wastewater treatment among others. I urge the private sector to invest in eco-technology, to enhance the efficient use of raw materials and energy, to promote green manufacturing. I commend KAM and ITC, for continuously supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become environmentally compliant, and enhance their access to finances through solutions-based seminars. These initiatives shall enable them to venture into more markets, even as the world is becoming more aware and demands for sustainably-produced goods and services,” explained CS Betty Maina.
Dr Virander Paul, High Commissioner of India to Kenya, highlighted India’s journey towards green growth and climate change, saying, “As a country, we committed to fully adhere to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. As such, we are on course, to mitigate climate change. For instance, our renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world. Our goal, currently, us to see that forty percent of India’s power will be from non-fossil sources by 2030.”
KAM Deputy Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy, Ms Miriam Bomett, noted the strategic role played by the local textile and leather sectors.
“The leather and apparel sectors have been identified in government’s development blueprints, due to their potential to enhance rapid economic growth. To stabilize and accelerate their growth trajectory, it is important that we continue strategizing and re-designing approaches to create an enabling environment to attract investments, and make Kenyan industries more competitive, by, for example, sustainability and affordable financing,” noted Ms Bomett.
Mr. Ashish Shah, Director, Division of Country Programmes at the International Trade Centre noted the marked shift in international textile and leather supply chains towards stricter environmental compliance. “Most of this change is being driven by international brands, but buyers with their conscious choice of supporting sustainably produced goods are also a key factor”. He also noted the pertinent lessons the Indian story offers to East Africa in popularising renewable energy for industrial use.
The reports, focusing on renewable energy and industrial sustainability were developed by ITC, in partnership with KAM.