State, factories to list locally made products to bar imports
The move will protect manufacturers who are grappling with high cost of production and competition from imports, leading to the exit of renowned brands, says Trade CS
The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the manufacturing sector have agreed to develop a list of locally made products which state ministries, departments and agencies will be barred from importing starting January.
Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the plan aims at fast-tracking the implementation of the Buy Kenya, Build Kenya policy. President Kenyatta directed state entities on June 1, 2015, to procure at least 40 per cent of supplies locally, but this is yet to be fully implemented.
Mohamed yesterday tasked the Kenya Association of Manufacturers to list locally produced goods that meet the required standards, to guide ministries, government departments and institutions in the new policy.
The move, he said, is aimed at protecting the sector which is grappling with high cost of production and competition from imports, which has led to the exit of renowned brands from the Kenyan market.
“Kenya Association of Manufacturers will tell all government departments we do not manufacture these products, and therefore we have no issues for that product to be imported. But for everything that can be made in this country, we will buy those products from Kenyan manufacturers,” Mohamed said yesterday.
He said the government is obliged to buy locally manufactured goods to a cost higher by up to 15 per cent to the price of similar imported goods.
“We have made all those preferences much embedded in our legislations. We need to work with the private sector to see how we can enforce some of those policies,” he said during the launch of the ongoing Kenya Manufacturing Expo and Summit in Nairobi.
Previous government efforts to buy local products including the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative have been hampered by quality issues and high prices.
“We must get our private sector to produce goods of good quality and competitive prices, but we must also push our people in government to buy local goods,” Mohamed said.
KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga said the association has developed a list of what is available locally, a live document that keeps on being updated.
“This will be the reference point. We are also undertaking a manufacturing survey in partnership with the ministry and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics,” Wakiaga said.
Trade CS Adan Mohamed with KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga at the launch of a manufacturing sector report in Nairobi yesterday/