Trade apparels and leather


The Ministry of Industrialisation Trade and Enterprise Development prepared and approved Kenya’s first ever comprehensive industrialisation road map, which identified the following priority areas under the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III):

  • Critical sectors with scale such as Tea, Cut Flowers, Coffee and Horticulture
  • Leveraging of natural advantages to create competitive sectors that include textiles and cotton; Leather; Agro-processing; Beef; and Fishing
  • Building of local industry to support resource and infrastructure investments in areas such as Oil; Minerals; Infrastructure (e.g.  iron and steel); and Geothermal
  • Transforming and reviving industries including Pan Paper Mills, Sugar, Coffee, Coconuts, Cashewnuts, Livestock and Pyrethrum
  • Enhancing non-industrial job-creating sectors in ICT, Retail and wholesale trade and Tourism
  • Improving the ease of doing business in Kenya
  • Supporting sectors for growth: skills, infrastructure (Special Economic Zones, Free Trade Zones), and finance.
  • Manufacture of Industrial and Agro-processing machinery, equipment, parts and tools
  • Manufacture of electrical products and electronics
  • Manufacture of automotive parts and motorcycles,
  • Unlocking the potential of SMEs: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya’s manufacturing sector are enterprises with fulltime employees numbering not more than 100, or with an annual sales turnover not exceeding KSh150 million. Developing competitive and resilient SMEs is integral to Kenya’s ambition to be a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030
  • Developing a compelling FDI attraction plan

These are key to creating jobs and attracting local and foreign investments. By promoting value addition, Kenya is moving closer to establishing a competitive manufacturing hub in the region and Africa. The priority areas under Manufacturing are cotton, textiles and apparels, leather and leather products, agro-processing and construction materials.

Having set a target of establishing at least 3,850 new manufacturing enterprises through industrial financing and other incentives, the focus is to increase export earnings from textiles and apparels production.

Key milestones

Special Economic Zones (SEZs): the zones containing free trade zones, industrial estates, export processing zones (EPZs), free ports and enterprise zones have been gazetted.

Infrastructure in Athi River Textile Hub upgraded

Common Effluent Treatment Plant completed at Kenya Leather Industrial Park at Kenanie. This is a key attraction to investors in leather processing.

Modernisation of KIRDI laboratories: this ongoing.

Modernisation of Rivatex Limited: this has been completed leading to increase in fabrics production and boosting local growing and processing of cotton.

Construction of Industrial Sheds at Athi River EPZ Textile Hub: these were completed leading to increases inflow of FDI (foreign direct investment), creation of jobs and higher export.

Loans advanced to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by Kenya Industrial Estates and large firms by IDB Capital and ICDC

Upgrading of Training and Industrial Centre for Shoe Industry in Thika

Registration of patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks

Cycle 5 of the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP): this is ongoing and has equipped many youths with skills to secure self-employment and earn livelihoods. It was launched in partnership with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs and the World Bank.

Buy Kenya Build Kenya Policy Initiative: it will ensure that all government agencies promote local production by buying Kenyan products and thus promote the manufacturing sector. Terms of reference for the development of the policy have been formulated and a technical committee chaired by Kenya Association of Manufacturers formed with oversight by the Ministry

Ease of Doing Business: The Ministry is championing reforms to improve the ease of doing business climate for investors. Kenya currently ranks 56th globally and 3rd in Sub-Sahara Africa on the Ease of Doing Business.  The goal is to improve Kenya’s ranking in ease of doing business rankings going forward. The Government’s objective is to improve the county’s Doing business ranking to be among the top 30 nation’s globally and attainment of 25th status in the next decade.   To this end, work is already on-going and results will be evident in the next 24 months where we expect the country’s ranking to improve significantly.

Enterprise Development: 188 Constituency Industrial Development Centres (CIDCs) are being operationalised in partnership with the Medium and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), the cooperative movement, development partners and county governments, with the aim of industrializing the rural areas as a way to attaining a nationally integrated industrial value chain. Several trainings, using the model of the International Labour Organisation/Youth Enterprise Program (ILO/YEP) programme, were carried out by Ministry on how to start and Improve Your Business (SIYB).

Pilot Soya Bean Processing Plants: To stem the import of Soya Beans that are used in the production of edible oils and production of soya milk, pilot soya plants have been operationalized in Kisumu, Migori and Bungoma with support from UNIDO. The Kisumu pilot plant is processing Soya Milk while the Migori and Bungoma plants are processing Soya Flour and by-products. Plans are underway to upscale the operations of these plants.

One Village One Product (OVOP): Through the OVOP programme, the ministry has been able to support 155 Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) with a total membership of 11,039 members to improve their businesses in honey, dairy, fruit and vegetables, flour and confectionery, herbal soap and lotions. Training in business management was undertaken and the MSEs linked to local and export markets through exhibitions and an OVOP website.

Value addition in cooperatives: The Ministry facilitated establishment of 11 coffee milling plants to promote value addition and enhance earnings to farmers. Through these initiatives, Coffee Cooperative Societies are exporting about 150,000 bags worth Kshs. 3 billion. In addition, pilot projects on value addition in Potato; Banana; and Honey were initiated. Farmers were mobilized to establish irrigation projects in Kitui and Machakos counties; and rehabilitation of irrigation system and restocking of animals in Godana Cooperative.

Reviving failed Industries: The Ministry is in the process of reviving struggling industries across the country. They include Panpaper Mills in Webuye and the revival of Rivatex, Thika Cotton Mills and Ken Knit among others


Share this post

Comment on post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *