Man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try is key in job cre­ation

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business -

Kenya has been los­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity, jobs and re­lated tech­nol­ogy for decades as the coun­try tran­si­tions into a more ser­vice-cen­tric econ­omy. But the worst eco­nomic cri­sis since the Great De­pres­sion, the 2008 fi­nan­cial shock, has­tened the tran­si­tion, caus­ing some fac­to­ries in Kenya to close down. Man­u­fac­tur­ing is es­sen­tial to any econ­omy. It fu­els and re­sults from in­no­va­tion. It is nat­u­ral in the course of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity that “fac­tory jobs” are trad­able on international labour mar­kets. They, es­pe­cially, fol­low the mi­gra­tion trends in man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity that in­volve jobs re­quir­ing low skills and com­pen­sa­tion. Ef­forts to re­vive high value-added man­u­fac­tur­ing in Kenya will have to be based on higher pro­duc­tiv­ity, not nec­es­sar­ily more of those good “fac­tory jobs” of the past. Man­u­fac­tur­ing will be crit­i­cal to tcon­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment even com­pared to the world’s lead­ing economies.

NDIRANGU NGUNJIRI Nairobi

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