Manufacturers await enactment of local products quota

By O’Brien Kimani

Local manufacturers are yet to benefit from the 40 percent local products quota directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta almost two years ago.

This has been occasioned by lack of a clear policy on the directive and how it is to be implemented.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers says they are still waiting for the operationalization of the law with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development finalizing on the guidelines.

During his Madaraka day speech in 2015 president Uhuru Kenyatta made a policy directive to all government ministries, parastatals and state departments to set aside 40 percent of their procurement budget to local manufacturers.

The move was aimed at boosting the local manufacturing sector whose contribution to the economy has dropped to around 10 percent.

However, more than one and a half years later the policy is yet to be implemented due to lack of legal teeth.

KAM chief Phylis Wakiaga says the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development is still collecting stakeholders’ views before developing guidelines on how the policy will be implemented.

Without proper policies to enforce the directive and a monitoring framework, government departments have faced challenges in ensuring the policy was adhered to.

Part of the guidelines being developed is to make adherence to the 40 percent quota as part of the performance appraisal for all senior government officers.

They were speaking during the launch of an electronic platform by e-commerce firm Jumia which will help local manufacturers market their products. Kenya is the second country after Egypt to have such a portal developed by Jumia.