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

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.

ENOS TECHE

Trade CS Adan Mo­hamed with KAM chief ex­ec­u­tive Phyl­lis Waki­aga at the launch of a man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor re­port in Nairobi yes­ter­day/

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