Manufacturing priorities 2016 launched

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has launched the manufacturing priorities 2016 with a view to further promote the local economy. The theme for 2016 is Promoting Industry in Kenya for Shared Prosperity.

Unlike 2015 where the priorities were seven, this year, the priorities are five. KAM Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga said the Manufacturing Priority Agenda (MPA) provides a platform for the manufacturing sector to rightfully engage government towards the realisation of industrialisation in Kenya.

The five pillars of the manufacturing priorities 2016 are General Policy Framework, Ensuring a level playing field, Competitive local manufacturing, making Kenya a manufacturing hub for exports and securing the future of industry.

MPA provides a guide to the challenges facing the manufacturing industry which KAM feels are critical to the social, political and economic transformation of the country.

Speaking during the launch, KAM chair lady Flora Mutahi said

This priority agenda is our contribution in shaping policies and regulatory frameworks that enable local businesses and trade partnerships thrive. As we head into the next elections, it is our duty as industry to ensure that government pursues a pro-growth and pro-business agenda.

The sector hopes to increase its contributions of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 10 percent to 20 percent. It contributes about half of the countries goods exports. A huge chunk of the exports, 88 percent is within the East African region while 45 percent is to the continent.

Ms. Wakiaga noted that the priorities for 2015 were quite robust but they are proud of the many which were attained in the course of the year. She explained that the pillar on securing markets saw the enforcement manual on illicit trade launched and training conducted to various stakeholders including members of the judiciary. She lauded the participation of the industry in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and a number of companies have signed the Global Compact Network, with a view of reducing corrupt practices by the private sector.

The Chief Guest for the event, the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Investment and Trade Adan Mohammed lauded the manufacturing priorities 2016 as they align to the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program (KITP) which was launched by the ministry.

It is commendable that our visions of prosperity for this country are aligned and I am pleased to see the recommendations made in the MPA merge with the government’s plan to industrialize, he said.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that a core issue which the industry should partner with government is skills development. He said the government is working on improving the curricula and infrastructure in Technical and Vocational and Educational Training (TIVETS) so as to ensure graduates are ready for the market.

He also noted the delay in Value Added Tax (VAT) as regressive to the industry growth, something Ms. Wakiaga said needs to be urgently addressed as it is an enabler to the manufacturing sector.

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