Se­rial clo­sure of big fac­to­ries is bad news

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

Kenya faces a bit­ing short­age of dry-cell bat­ter­ies at the mo­ment (see story page 19). This may not seem like a ma­jor prob­lem for now, since most de­vices that were once bat­tery-pow­ered are avail­able in recharge­able op­tions.

How­ever, the story be­hind this short­age is repli­cat­ing it­self in other in­dus­tries and be­com­ing a cause for con­cern. En­tire fac­to­ries are clos­ing down, cit­ing the high cost of op­er­a­tions, the dump­ing of cheap prod­ucts on the lo­cal mar­ket, dou­ble tax­a­tion and bet­ter in­cen­tives in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries such as Ethiopia.

This is alarm­ing. First of all, there is a rise in con­struc­tion of in­dus­trial parks in this coun­try, which could be­come white ele­phants if there are no fac­to­ries to oc­cupy them.

Se­condly, for any coun­try to de­velop, it needs to build in­dus­tries to cre­ate jobs and lower de­pen­dence on im­ports. If the govern­ment does not act on the se­rial clo­sure of fac­to­ries, many ma­jor on­go­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments will go to waste.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.