Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Kenya: We Want to Position Kenya As a Manufacturing Hub - UhuruTuesday, November 11, 2014 > 16:39:05
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said his government seeks to position Kenya as the continent's manufucturing and technology hub.
He added that there is also a deliberate effort by his administration to make the country the preferred gateway to Africa for foreign investors and a home to a thriving army of local entrepreneurs.
"In this regard, Kenya wants to be among the first movers in Africa by creating an enabling environment to attract investment," he said.
Uhuru spoke on Monday evening when he official opened the Origin of Africa event that focused on showcasing Africa's textile industry. The event attracted nearly 300 investors from 32 African countries including partner states of the East African Community.
Uhuru said Kenya needs to attract more investments and take full advantage of growing demand of manufactured goods, including garments.
"These are in line with the aims of the 'Kenya Vision 2030' which seek to transform Kenya into an upper middle income economy driven by industrialization," he said.
To lower the cost of doing business, the President said the Government has put in place an elaborate programme to make Kenya's business sector more productive and globally competitive.
"Some of the initiatives include the 40-month programme to inject over 5000MW of electricity into the National Grid; reduce the cost of power by over 40% by end of this calendar year; fast track the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project and the 10,000km road infrastructure through an innovative financing model," Uhuru said.
He said the textile and clothing sector - with a potential to create 200,000 jobs in the next 24 month - is one of the key priority areas which the Government has targeted for job creation.
The President emphasized that Kenyans must take advantage of the global market through AGOA, the EU and other emerging markets to aggressively grow the textiles sector.
"My Government is at the forefront in championing for this sector. Just two days ago, we opened a new apparel factory in Mombasa that will create nearly 10,000 jobs for our youth and women," the President said.
He expressed confidence that the measures being put in place will make Kenya and the entire East African Region, a compelling investment destination for textile and apparel sector.
Outlining the country's achievements, he said that over the last one year Kenya did well and now holds the first position as sub-Saharan Africa's largest apparel exporter to the USA under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) having exported 83 million pieces valued at US$ 336 million.
Uhuru further said that the Government has put emphasis in revitalizing of the Cotton Textile Apparels sub-sector and will spare no efforts in addressing the concerns facing companies in the sector.
"Some of these include cotton production, inadequate industrial space, high energy costs, logistical challenges and others that I am confident to inform you considerable progress has made to address them," he said.
Speaking during the occasion, United States Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec announced the launch of a US $65 million trade hub project in Kenya through the Trade Africa Initiative.
He said choice of Kenya for the project was driven by Kenya's position as a regional leader with speed implementation of conducive trade policies. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launched the fashion show.
The fashion show attracted designers from seven countries which included Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Mauritius.
Emerging designers who showcased in the fabulous fashion show included Muhoho Kenyatta, (Nomadic designs), Firyal Nur Al Hossain (Nur designs), Wendy Awour (Wendy Awour designs) and Stephen Kamau (KIMCHI designs). Also present were the Ethiopian First Lady Roman Tesfaye and the Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.