President Uhuru Kenyatta has today, 22nd January, unveiled a $30 billion United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (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 mobilising resources for investment in high potential economic sectors.
The PCP, which is also being rolled out in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Peru, will boost Kenya’s manufacturing potential by injecting more than $30 billion in the sector in the next five years.
In his speech during the virtual launch of the initiative, President Kenyatta said Kenya had opted for the new approach so as to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
“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,” he said.
The Head of State said Kenya would 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 Director-General Li Yong, President Kenyatta announced that the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) led by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i would spearhead the uptake of the PCP.
The President lobbied partners to support the implementation of PCP’s anchor programmes, saying the intervention’s success would largely depend on the ability of stakeholders to mobilise adequate resources for its rollout.
“I, therefore, direct that the Cabinet secretaries of the Ministries of Interior and Coordination of National Government, the National Treasury and Planning and the Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, provide necessary guidance on finalisation of PCP and mobilisation of resources for its implementation,” the President directed.
At the same time, the Head of State launched the first PCP anchor project, 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 would support both public and private sector institutions 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 the 47 counties. The industrial parks and zones will provide an opportunity for Kenyan goods and products to enter the largest global markets with competitive products,” the President said.
Li Yong said the collaboration between Unido and the Kenya Government, through PCP, would help to accelerate the country’s industrialisation agenda.
The Unido Director-General, speaking from Geneva, Switzerland, announced his organisation’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,” Li said.
Alongside accelerating Kenya’s manufacturing potential, the Director-General said PCP would grow the country’s digital economy and boost the nation’s standing as the largest economy in the East African region.
Industrialisation 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.