, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Kenya will soon be the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to host a fully serviced Textile City at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Athi River to meet the manufacturing investment needs for leading global garment marketing firms.
The Textile City model to be championed by the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, will besides foreign investments attraction, be one of the key pillars earmarked as the national job creation platforms.
Speaking at the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) Complex in Athi River on Wednesday when he hosted a delegation of 40 international garment manufacturing firms in the country, Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed confirmed that plans for the establishment of a Textile City are now at an advanced stage.
The government targets to attract at least 100 textile investment firms at the Textile City and create more than 200,000 sustainable textile jobs by December 2016.
“The government through the EPZA is embarking on a project to develop a textile city here in Athi River to meet the specific needs of such investors,” Mohamed explained.
The delegation is led by high ranking executives from PVH and VF Corporation, who are some of the world’s largest apparel manufacturing companies which own and market iconic brands worldwide.
“By hosting such important potential investors in the global textile industry, we are effectively confirming a national commitment to facilitate industrial growth through priority sectors as outlined in the National Industrialization Roadmap,” he said.
By establishing a Textile City for onward leasing to potential investors, Mohamed assured that they will be seeking to address existing industrialization bottlenecks at the Athi River EPZA zone as well as other locations.
Such firms, will be expected to take up investment opportunities relating to cotton ginning and yarn spinning, manufacture of textile fabrics and home fabrics, manufacture of apparel and manufacture of garment accessories, and labels among other ventures.
The Textile City has already been enshrined in the recently formulated National industrialization Roadmap aimed at facilitating national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at Sh350 to Sh520billion per year for the next 16 years.
The textile sector, Mohamed noted, bears a latent potential for creating massive employment to a large educated labour pool with high productivity and remains a key economic indicator for potential investors to explore.