How can we buy 'made in Kenya' with influx of cheaper imports?
Once household names in Kenya, Rift Valley Textiles (Rivatex) and Kisumu Cotton Mills were forced to fold due to mismanagement.That did not just occasion a loss of jobs; it effectively killed cotton farming and allowed cheap imports to flourish. For long, the Government mooted plans to revive the entities to not only promote local industry, but also provide the much-needed jobs in line with Jubilee’s pledge to create one million opportunities annually. However, it was not until last June that the Government took concrete measures to revive Rivatex when President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the company to start production. kitenge, India the dhoti and Nigeria the agbada, Kenya is best represented by the unique, mostly red, Masaai attire. A truly national Kenyan attire is yet to be identified. However, Attorney General Paul Kariuki has directed heads of departments in his office to ensure the President’s directive on wearing "made in Kenya" attires is implemented. Promoting local industry is a good thing. It demonstrates Government commitment to righting wrongs that have dragged our economy down, and blends with Uhuru’s Big Four agenda that encompasses manufacturing. mitumba. Importantly, it should also reduce the cost of doing business so that local firms can produce goods cheaply and boost their competitiveness. The Government should also educate Kenyans on the need to promote local industries. In the absence of such actions, "my dress my choice" will remain a popular slogan in the country.
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