Industrialisation plan on course, says minister

Tuesday February 2 2016

Kenya wants India help to convert the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) into Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Photo/FILE

Workers at an Export Processing Zone. Photo/FILE 

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Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed has assured of Kenya’s readiness to roll out the Special Economic Zones, (SEZ).

Mr Mohamed promised to publish the Special Economic Zones regulations next month.

“The Special Economic Zones Act that is now in place has set the pace to accelerate the industrial transformation in our country. This is being complemented by the ongoing infrastructure projects geared towards making our country a cost effective manufacturing destination yielding competitive trade products”, said Mr Mohamed.

He was speaking in Naivasha, during an inter-governmental forum reviewing draft regulations to govern the country’s Special Economic Zones.

The CS said that private sector stakeholders will in the next two weeks participate in the validation of the regulations that will be crucial in the operationalization of the new Act.

Investor confidence

“We are keen to fast-track the implementation of the SEZ’s to uplift the industrial sector, which despite its potential, has not been dynamic enough to function as an engine for growth for the Kenyan economy as has been the case of newly emerging economies,” said Mr Mohamed.

He added that the increasing investor confidence will herald a new dawn in industrial and trade investments in the country.

Implementation of the Special Economic Zone concept is pivotal for Kenya industrialization plans in line with Kenya’s Industrial Transformation Plan (KITP) blueprint in execution for the next decade.

The SEZs are intended to contribute towards the transformation of the country’s economic base by driving a higher sustained growth, employment creation and poverty reduction.

They are expected to aid in doubling the current manufacturing sector jobs to approximately 1 million jobs.

Mr Mohammed said Kenya is on course to commence the implementation of three Special Economic Zones namely Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu following Presidential assent on September 11, 2015.