BY KAVORE KARIUKI
The Government has adopted cluster initiative in a bid to boost productivity and competitiveness by applying the Triple Helix collaboration, which brings together government, business firms, research organisations and academic institutions to enhance growth.
A cluster is a population of geographically concentrated and mutually related business units centered around a distinctive economic specialisation.
The flagship project at the Port of Mombasa âwhich has been identified by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) to be among 12 priority clusters for the initial implementation of the cluster strategy â will be an excellent starting point.
The Port of Mombasa is the largest port in East and Central Africa, serving Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the eastern gateway of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is equipped to handle a wide range of cargoes to key destinations around the world including Europe, Asia, Far East, America and the rest of Africa.
The port continues to struggle as traffic passing through it increases yearly. Congestion is also a big hindrance to the portâs efficiency, which has impacted the international trade negatively.
But on the other side of the world, Singapore maritime industry has capitalised on her strategic position by adopting the cluster strategy. The cluster comprises more than 5,000 maritime establishments, and provides employment to over 96,000 people. The creation of the maritime clusters will allow the port to operate more productively in sourcing inputs, accessing specialised information, technology, while co-ordinating with related companies.
Clusters provide better access to employers and suppliers, due to the availability of an existing pool of experienced employees.
In addition to enhancing productivity, clusters play a vital role in the formation of new businesses. Many new companies grow up within an existing cluster rather than at isolated locations. Therefore individuals working within a cluster will benefit from identifying gaps around which they can build businesses.
Proximity of firms