By Etaarifa Contributor
The launch of Kenya’s Industrial Transformation Program (KITP) by the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development is the right path in growing Kenya back to the Industrial hub it needs to be- KAM Chief Executive Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga has said.
Speaking at the launch she said “KITP is of great importance to the industrial sector and the nation as a whole. While vision 2030 lays out in broad strokes of our development, the road map is contained in the newly released KITP. This plan builds on that broad vision and further outlines how we are going to be industrialized in the remaining 15 years of the blueprint.”
Launching the KITP Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development (MOIED) Mr. Adan Mohamed said industrialization has a lot of challenges including the fact that we have a very fragmented market that favors few and weaknesses in the industrial ecosystem such as infrastructure and cost of energy.
“Competing in global markets requires global companies. Kenya therefore needs to be an early mover to develop Mombasa and other key locations into one of Africa’s few industrial hubs. Mombasa today is one of the best and strategic assets that Kenya has and to date we have not even exploited a fraction of what it could do for us,” said Mr. Mohamed.
He called on the all the key stakeholders to focus on the areas where Kenya has a comparative advantage. “We must continue to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a catalyst to build momentum in addition to the local domestic capital that has been instrumental in driving our industrialization program,” he added.
Dr. Wilson Songa, Principal Secretary MOIED said creativity and innovation will be key in the development of the industrial sector as well as embracing of green industry. “Green industry is the future of industrial transformation.
The government has embraced the creation of a green growth coordination secretariat to make sure that when programs such as KITP are implemented we have a green orientation,” said Dr. Songa.
According to Dr. Songa, KITP has identified 10 opportunities that will create over 430,000 jobs resulting in approximately 2 percent growth of our formal employment base. The Ministry will act as a catalyst for industrial growth working closely with the private sector. “Industrialization is the role of the private sector and we will look to further strengthening our Public Private Partnerships.”
According to Ms. Wakiaga, of particular importance will be the value addition in the agricultural sector so that Kenya becomes an ago-processing hub. “We process only 16 percent of our agricultural exports and this figure needs to go up so that we can even blend our own tea and sell it in a blended form. Expansion of our fishing industry to include tuna processing will also augment our strengths in fishing as we so far only concentrate on Nile perch processing,” she 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 respective counties.
KAM fully supports this industrialization program and looks forward to its implementation. “We intend to work closely with the ministerial development unit that will be put in place as part of the strategy which we hope will galvanise all the relevant stakeholders into action towards a prosperous future,” said Ms. Wakiaga.
Developed by Mckinsey, the plan targets 4 key areas; an increase of manufacturing to over 15 percent of GDP, the creation of 1 million jobs, a five fold increase in our FDI and securing a top 50 position in the ease of doing business index. All this will be driven through 5 pillars, 4 of which will be built on the growth and expansion of the SME sector. The other four pillars include the expansion of our export engine, the growth of the agro-processing sector in the country, harnessing local content resource and enhancing the non-industrial sector for job creation.