Ethiopia a threat to Kenya pro­duc­ers, says Plan­ning PS

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - WEITERE MWITA @MwitaMartin

The Kenyan mar­ket will be flooded with goods made in Ethiopia be­cause of lack of a clear in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion pol­icy, plan­ning Prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary Saitoti Torome has warned.

The PS said Kenya must po­si­tion it­self strate­gi­cally to ben­e­fit from a trade deal signed be­tween the two coun­tries. Ethiopia’s grow­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor is in­creas­ingly at­tract­ing new in­vestors, while in Kenya high pro­duc­tion costs have pushed a num­ber of pro­duc­ers to close shop.

Torome said Ethiopia’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion pol­icy has helped grow its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. “If not care­ful our mar­ket will be flooded with goods from Ethiopia. Kenya must im­prove the in­dus­trial sec­tor,” Torome said on Wed­nes­day, dur­ing the Kenya Eco­nomic Re­port launch in Nairobi.

The 2016 re­port by the Kenya In­sti­tute for Pub­lic Pol­icy Re­search and Anal­y­sis in­di­cates that while the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor value grew to Sh425.5 bil­lion in 2014-15 com­pared to Sh417.7 bil­lion in 2013-14, its con­tri­bu­tions to Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct and em­ploy­ment are marginally de­clin­ing.

“Key chal­lenges in­clude high pro­duc­tion costs and com­pe­ti­tion from cheap im­ports es­pe­cially from China and In­dia, among other chal­lenges,” the eco­nomic re­port states.

Kenya and Ethiopia are putting up in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing a Sh843 mil­lion one-stop bor­der post at Moyale to ease move­ment of goods and peo­ple.

The OSBP on the Ethiopian side is 42 per cent com­plete and is ex­pected to be fully func­tion­ing by March 2017, ac­cord­ing to the Ethiopia govern­ment, which ex­pects to com­plete a 500 kilo­me­tres road link­ing Ad­dis Ababa with Kenya at Moyale by Septem­ber 2018.

On the Kenya side, the 513-kilo­me­tre Isi­olo-Moyale road is 95 per cent com­plete, ac­cord­ing to trans­port Prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary Irungu Nyak­era.

“This is the first time a real con­nec­tion be­tween Kenya and Ethiopia is be­ing re­alised for the pur­pose of trade,” Nyak­era said.

Kenya and Ethiopia signed a bi­lat­eral agree­ment in 2011 to de­velop the joint cor­ri­dor and road to en­hance cross-bor­der trade.

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