Exhibitor at the Changamka Shopping Festival 2019. /Photo: KAM

Policy question as Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival kicks off

Local manufacturers are poised to receive more government support boosted by friendly policies to curb recurrent challenges hampering the growth of the Kenyan private sector.

While making remarks at the launch of 3rd Kenya Manufacturing Summit and Expo 2019, Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya said the government is harmonizing relevant policies to widen the scope of local innovation and manufacturing.

Mr. Munya said the government is partnering with financial institutions towards creating a framework that will ensure lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is enhanced. He expressed support to see the private sector grows investments and exports besides collaborating with local manufacturers to increase competitiveness and value addition.

Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya at the festival. /Photo: @IndustryKE on Twitter

“The government is committed to addressing the challenges hampering the growth of the (private) sector through policy interventions such as Buy Kenya Build Kenya and Local Content Policies,” Munya said when he opened the Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival.

The CS indicated that the festival provides opportunities to discuss thematic areas including financing, export development and promotion and the vital role of the county governments in promoting the sector.

The four-day event, fused with 60th-anniversary celebrations of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) features super sales from local manufacturers.

KAM Chair Mr. Sachen Gudka stated that in order to achieve the Big Four Agenda, stakeholders must be deliberate in their drive to achieve the industrialization agenda.

“Our ambition to grow the sector’s contribution to 15% of GDP translates to a change in strategy as a country. Policymakers must hear our voices and actions to strengthen manufacturing and our nation’s future, to give us the tools we need to compete in the 21st-century economy and to make our tomorrow better than our today,” Mr Gudka observed.

He hailed small manufacturers and businesses terming them the backbones of Kenya’s industry and the economy.

“In fact, 63% of our Association’s membership are manufacturing SMEs. As part of our initiatives to promote SMEs, we will be launching an SME Hub within the Association that will focus on offering a bouquet of services and products aimed at incubators, accelerators, and scale for manufacturing SMEs”

On his part, Brand Kenya Board Chairman, Mr. Linus Gitahi noted: “I call upon all Kenyans, both in the Capital and in the Counties, to join in this celebration.”

He said it was important that “we take pride in Made in Kenya Products that carry the Kenyan Brand across the world.”

The four-day festival organized by the ministry of trade and the Association of Manufacturers (KAM) brought together more than 150 local manufacturers from all sectors across the 47 counties targeting 250,000 visitors.

The festival is expected to serve as an opportunity for industry, stakeholders and the public to celebrate and deliberate on transforming the nation through industrialization. Participants have a window to showcase the diversity of locally manufactured innovations and goods.

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