Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to scale up the country’s recently-revitalized vehicle assembly industry.
The country’s manufacturing sector has been on the rise following a 2016 move by President Kenyatta to inaugurate a Volkswagen production facility in Kenya’s Thika town.
At the time, the President urged Kenyans to buy locally-assembled products in a bid to boost economic growth. He also welcomed the decision by the Volkswagen Group to invest in Kenya, saying it resonated well with his administration’s plan to industrialize the economy.
“Industrialization is the surest way to the destination we seek to achieve, that of a prosperous Kenya,” the President said.
Following his inauguration earlier this week, Kenyatta has held a series of high profile meetings with other Heads of State from across the African continent. Many of them, including Namibia’s President and his Rwandan counterpart, have called for increased trade in the region.
Kenyatta welcomed their support and told Kenyans that increased investment, especially in key sectors of the economy, would help alleviate poverty as well as create new employment opportunities for the country’s citizens.
“Our manufacturing sector is the primary vehicle for the creation of jobs. We will build on ongoing efforts, such as the Volkswagen and Peugeot motor-vehicle assembly plants,” he explained in a recent address in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
“We will grow and sustain the manufacturing sector, and raise its share of the national cake from 9 to 15 percent,” he said.
The Head of State promised to re-engineer the country’s agricultural sector in a bid to make the country food secure. His sentiments come at a time when Kenya is still heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture.
“Never again should we allow the vagaries of weather to hold us hostage,” he said.
“We will target the creation of 1,000 small and medium scale enterprises in agro-processing,” Kenyatta added.