Kenya unveils plan to build textile city

ndustrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.
By WINSLEY MASESE

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Government plans to set up a fully serviced Textile City as part of the ongoing efforts to realign the textile and apparel sector to make it contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth prospects.

The Textile City model to be championed by the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development will besides foreign investments attraction, be one of the key pillars earmarked as the national job creation platforms.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the efforts would start with attracting investors to set up manufacturing plants within the Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

Mr Mohamed was speaking at the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) Complex in Athi River, when he hosted a delegation of 40 international garment manufacturing firms Wednesday.

 High-ranking executives from PVH and VF Corporation who are some of the world’s largest apparel manufacturing companies, which own and market iconic brands worldwide are leading the delegation.

“Once the manufacturers set their plants in the country and are able to source for materials externally, we can explore ways of reviving the sector backwards,” he said.

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Part of these will touch on efforts of reviving the ailing cotton industry in the country, and position the country as a key beneficiary of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).

Mohamed said the proposed city, which would be the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, would meet the manufacturing investment needs for a number of leading global garment marketing firms.

The Cabinet Secretary said enterprises in the Textile City would be cushioned from annual National Wage Regulation Orders as wages in the sector would be regulated by an inclusive Textile and Apparel Sector Wages Council.

SUSTAINABLE JOBS

“By establishing a Textile City for onward leasing to potential investors, Kenya will be seeking to address existing industrialisation bottlenecks at the Athi River export processing zone as well as other locations,” Mohamed said.

The ministry, he said, targets to attract at least 100 textile investment firms at the Textile City and create more than 200,000 sustainable textile jobs by December 2016.

Such firms will be expected to take up investment opportunities relating to cotton ginning and yarn spinning, manufacture of textile fabrics and home fabrics, manufacture of apparel and manufacture of garment accessories and labels, among other ventures.

Mohamed said plans are in place to improve the textile and apparel sector.

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Textile City EPZ Africa Growth Opportunity