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Kenyatta unveils UN mechanism to stimulate Kenya’s manufacturing sector

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta today unveiled a USD 30 billion United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) mechanism to help stimulate Kenya’s manufacturing sector.

The initiative dubbed Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) Starter Pack, is a model for accelerating industrial development in UNIDO member states by mobilizing resources for investment in high potential economic sectors.

The PCP, which is also successfully being rolled out in Ethiopia, Senegal and Peru, will boost Kenya’s manufacturing potential by injecting more than USD 30 billion in the sector in the next five years.

In his speech during the virtual launch of the initiative, President Kenyatta said Kenya opted for the new approach so as to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the country.

“The potential contribution of the PCP includes an increased share of the manufacturing sector, food security and improved nutrition and increased domestic and foreign investment,” the President said.

The Head of State said Kenya will leverage on its strong market-based economy and existing institutional structures for industrial development to reap maximum benefits from the UN intervention.

At the event also addressed by UNIDO’s Director General Mr Li Yong, President Kenyatta announced that the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) led by Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i will spearhead the uptake of PCP in the country.

The President lobbied partners to support the implementation of PCP’s anchor programmes saying the intervention’s success will largely depend on the ability of stakeholders to mobilize adequate resources for its roll out.

“I, therefore, direct that the Cabinet Secretaries of the Ministries of Interior and Coordination of National Government; the National Treasury and Planning and the Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, provide necessary guidance on finalization of PCP and mobilization of resources for its implementation,” the President directed.

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At the same time, the Head of State launched the first PCP anchor project in the country, an Integrated Agro-Industrial Park on a 280-acre parcel of land donated by Nyamira County and urged other County Governments to join the initiative.

He said PCP will support both public and private sector institutions in Kenya to enhance their industrial productivity through innovation, technology transfer, financing as well as knowledge and skills upgrading.

“To enhance and promote competitiveness and within the PCP model, my Administration will continue to support the establishment of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones that will provide a competitive platform for industrial development.

“Kenya has the potential to develop Agro-processing facilities in 41 out of 47 Counties. The industrial parks and zones will provide the opportunity for Kenyan goods and products to enter the largest global markets with competitive products,” the President said.

In his remarks, Mr Li Yong said the collaboration between UNIDO and the Kenyan Government through PCP will help accelerate the country’s industrialization agenda.

The UNIDO Director-General, speaking from Geneva, Switzerland, announced his organization’s plan to support Kenya in implementing its post Covid-19 economic recovery strategy.

“The PCP will join the opportunity to build back better by identifying sustainable pathway to support the recovery of the economy and sustainable industrialization,” Yong said.

Alongside accelerating Kenya’s manufacturing potential, the Director-General said PCP will grow the country’s digital economy and boost the nation’s standing as the largest economy in East Africa region.

Industrialization CS Betty Maina, UNIDO Kenya Country Representative Kawira Anne Bucyana and acting UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya Dr Medhin Tsehaiu also spoke at the virtual event attended by several senior government officers, UN bureaucrats and foreign diplomats.

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