The big four agenda was launched by President Kenyatta during the Jamuhuri Day celebrations last year, focusing on manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and food security as the four pillars of development, that the country will concentrate on in the five years to 2022.
If you are looking to invest in the manufacturing industry, here is what is planned within the sector as per the big four agenda:
The overall goal of the agenda in the manufacturing industry is to raise the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9 percent to 15 percent by 2022.
Kenya seeks to produce 20 million shoes by 2022 in the leather industry in order to reduce the current import of finished shoes. The focus will be on training and setting up 5,000 cottage industries to boost production in addition to a leather park to be established in Machakos to take advantage of the country’s hide and skin production.
Additionally, the agenda seeks to boost the cotton industry using improved hybrid cotton varieties that will boost production volumes. The agenda also targets the building of modern ginneries and textile manufacturing plants in order move towards the export of finished products as opposed to primary goods. In the current financial year alone, the government aims to export sh20 billion worth of textile products; for investors, this might be a good place to align your investments.
In the agro-processing sub-sector, the agenda looks to create 1,000 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a goal of 200,000 new jobs in the next five years. Government bodies including the Kenya Industrial Estates, Development Bank of Kenya, Industrial Development Bank of Kenya, Uwezo Fund and Youth Enterprise Development Fund are being consolidated into one institution to streamline support to SMEs.
Furthermore, there is a plan in place to turn Mombasa County into a hub for value addition through a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to be established in Dongo Kundu, in addition to attracting two global tea processors to set up in the region and regulating the informal milk market.
The manufacturing agenda aims to boost the iron and steel industry as well setting up Business Process Outsourcing hubs dealing in telephone, laptop computers and television assembly. This is one of the developments currently under the Konza City project.
The manufacturing part of the big four agenda has so far attracted significant interest, for instance, the Chinese government has recently verbally committed to investing $180 million in two manufacturing plants; one in Thika worth $100 million and another in Kajiado County worth $80 million.
Furthermore, Tony Elumelu the Chairman of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in his recent visit to Kenya expressed interest in aligning with the big four agenda to extend financing to the energy and housing sector through UBA bank. Tides are changing, external investors are lining up, hopefully, local investors who are the backbone of the SME sector, won’t left behind in exploiting these new opportunities in Manufacturing.