Local manufacturers have demonstrated their capacity to continue with production amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as the country gears up for the phased reopening of the economy.
According to the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Ms Betty Maina local manufacturers have invested in innovations that have enabled them to continue with operations during the current crisis.
“The investments put in by Kenyan manufacturers is impressive. They have adhered to the set-out standards and regulations, which have enabled business continuity. This has enabled them to stand by the country as we face the crisis together. I urge Business Membership Organizations to establish workplace committees to ensure their members continue to comply with COVID-19 Business Protocols and Guidelines,” noted CS Betty.
The Cabinet secretary also added that all Manufacturing Sectors have played their part in cushioning the country from the impact of COVID-19 by providing support in their specific areas of operation, saying “This is an indication of the country’s preparedness as we prepare for the phased re-opening of our economy. Local industry has demonstrated their capability to produce goods previously thought to only be imported. This will lead to job and wealth creation by bridging the trade deficit, as we look forward to a rebound post-COVID 19.”
According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chair, Mr Sachen Gudka local manufacturers have the capacity to produce goods needed for consumption by all markets.
“I urge Kenyans to consume local products since industrial development creates jobs and strengthens the economy, saying, “Manufacturers’ reliability, sustainability, innovation and smart practice has seen us access more markets in the country, regionally and globally. Other countries are sourcing their needs for various products from us, demonstrating Kenya’s capacity to produce goods for all markets across the world.” He added.
This is happening even as Kenya’s presidet Uhuru Kenyatta, outlined Government development priorities for the 2020/21 Financial Year which kicked off on 1st July.
In his address, the President said Government’s focus this Financial Year will be the implementation and completion of ongoing Priority Projects and Programmes as set out in his Administration’s Transformative Agenda for the Nation.
These Programmes, the Head of State said must be strictly implemented within set timelines and budgets.
The President reiterated his earlier directive that no new Projects will be initiated except with his express authority.
As a measure of accountability, the President announced that completion rate of Projects and Programmes will be adopted as a key Performance Indicator for all Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries.
The Head of State called for Collective Responsibility in the implementation of Government Projects and Programmes through the involvement of entire Ministerial Establishments (Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries), so as to ensure timely delivery of quality outcomes.
President Kenyatta also added that collective responsibility should be demonstrated by enhanced presence and visibility of Government on the ground through inspection of projects and robust public engagements. The Head of State acknowledged the current difficult economic environment occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and reminded Government Departments to settle pending bills as a key priority and to ensure that pending bills is the first charge on each Ministry’s Budget.
In support of local industries, the President said the Government must walk the talk of Buy Kenya Build Kenya agenda and once again, directed all Ministries, State Departments and State Agencies to give preferential procurement to Kenyan Made Goods and Services.
The President thanked the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) and the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) for the progress made in the attainment of the National Development Goals saying the two entities had proved their effectiveness in overseeing the implementation of the Government’s development programmes.