NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan government will only buy
locally-assembled vehicles for official administration use in
order to promote home-grown manufacturing, an official said on
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, said it’s now a
government procedure for all ministries and other state agencies
to buy locally- assembled cars to help create jobs for the
locals and boost production.
"The directive must be adhered to as an assertion to
supporting the local initiative and any state officer who
violates the order shall have disciplinary action meted upon
them," Munya said during the commissioning of new assembly lines
at Isuzu East Africa assembly plant that was constructed at a
cost of 1 billion shillings (10 million U.S. dollars).
He said all government agencies are thus required to give
exclusive preference in procurement of motor vehicles for
government use to firms that have assembly plants in Kenya as a
way of spurring growth of local support enterprises and creating
employment opportunities for the youth.
Kenya to pursue export-led
economic growth to boost forex earnings
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to pursue an
export-led economic growth model in order to boost foreign
exchange earnings, a senior government official said on
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Industry,
Trade and Cooperatives, told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya
is keen to reverse the trend of a growing trade deficit.
"The country has laid down an export strategy whose
implementation is currently being fast-tracked to ensure exports
growth is faster than imports with a view to bridge the trade
deficit," Munya said.
Government data indicated that Kenya’s exports grew from 594
billion Kenyan shillings (about 5.94 billion U.S. dollars) in
2017 to 6.13 billion dollars in 2018 while imports hit around
17.6 billion dollars last year.
Munya said that a strong export performance will require
vibrant local industries that can produce goods competitively.
"We have also rolled out a number of fiscal incentives to
catalyze the expansion of the manufacturing sector," he added.
Munya said that tea, horticulture, articles of apparel and
clothing accessories, coffee, titanium ores and concentrates
accounted for about 62 percent of merchandise exports last year.
"This is one of the reasons why Kenya is focusing on
diversifying export products with a view to increase foreign
exchange, wealth and job creation in the country," he added.
"Due to the complex dynamics of international trade, it will
be difficult to achieve a trade surplus," Munya said.
The ministry of trade also plans to purse country-specific
strategies in growing volumes and value of exports.
"We hope to leverage on the bilateral and multilateral trade
agreements we have signed around the world to ensure we boost
our exports," Munya said.
He said that Kenya will concentrate on enhancing exports to
the African continent, which in 2018 absorbed about 35 percent
of all of Kenya outbound merchandise trade.
Among the top 25 Kenya exports destination countries, ten are
from Africa, including Uganda, Egypt, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania,
He noted that Kenya has a competitive advantage in the
manufacture of goods as compared to many other African
"Kenya will grow its exports through region-specific
interventions such as Kenya’s push for the realization of the
African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that guarantees
Kenya a market opportunity of about 1.3 billion people," he
He revealed that ongoing efforts to improve Africa’s
infrastructure connectivity will also enhance Kenya’s trade with
the Africa by reducing the cost of cross-border trade and
Kenya Commodity Exchange
to be operational in early 2020
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s commodity exchange will be operational in
early 2020, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Industry,
Trade and Cooperatives told journalists in Nairobi that the
regulations for the commodity exchange have already been
developed to guide the operations of the platform.
"Our target is for the first agricultural produce to begin
trading at the Commodity Exchange in the next nine months,"
"Thereafter we hope to incorporate all major cash crops as
well as minerals in the commodity exchange," he added.
The government official said that the funds to implement the
commodity exchange will be put in the national budget of the
next financial year that begins in July.
Munya said that Kenya is prioritizing the exchange because of
the positive impact it will have on the agricultural sector.
"It will allow farmers to receive fair returns on their crops
by enabling a transparent mechanism for price discovery," he
COMESA trade experts meet
in Kenya on industrial disparities
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Trade experts from the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA) are meeting in Nairobi this week to
discuss ways to address industrial disparities in the region.
The experts said the implementation of the COMESA Industrial
Policy, which was adopted by COMESA Council of Ministers in
2015, is expected to provide the pathway towards addressing the
growth gaps that exist on the supply-side such as low-value
addition, low employment rates and weak cross-border trade
Betty Maina, Principal Secretary in charge of industry at
Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives who opened
the meeting late on Tuesday said a robust GDP growth of near 6.5
percent in the region has not led to economic transformation.
Maina said this disparity has resulted from preoccupation
with low value-added products and trading in primary products
and natural resources.
"Despite regional integration being of special importance in
Africa, COMESA member states still trade more than 90 percent
with other parts of the world due to lack of industrial
diversification and products’ complementarity among themselves,"
Maina said the affected products are mainly those with few
forward and backward linkages to the rest of the economy.
The three-day meeting will thus discuss the draft action plan
of the implementation on the COMESA Industrial Policy and review
the COMESA regional guidelines on the local content policy.
"The low level of intra-COMESA trade, which has not broken
the 10 percent threshold of total exports over the years, is a
reflection of a low level of industrialization," she said.
Kipyego Cheluget, assistant secretary general of COMESA, said
energy costs in the region was a major impediment to the
expansion of the manufacturing sector.
Cheluget said the total installed capacity for electric power
in the 21 COMESA countries is about 90,800 megawatts compared to
Brazil with over 150,000 megawatts.
"We are however beginning to see significant improvements in
the generation capacity with the expected coming on-stream major
power generation projects in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda,
Zambia," he said.
He added that the construction of Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya
interconnector and the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector will
facilitate power trade between the southern and the northern