Kenya ready for third revolution, opens doors for industrialization

Industry PS Nominee Dr. Eusebius Juma Mukhwana during his vetting at County Hall mini chamber in Nairobi on November 15, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A move to ease access to energy and the establishment of special business zones to increase trade balance, employment, increased investment is gaining momentum.

Industry PS Dr Juma Mukhwana said that a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to make 2016-2025 a Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) has openned a new chapter for Industrial progression in the region.

He said the move will the drive will target Agro-Value-Chain development, establishment of Special Economic Zones, and digitization.

Dr Juma Mukhwana  said that with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) expansion on resource mobilization for the existing programs, the country will make great strides.

This strategy, he said, promises to serve as a unifying framework for the Organization’s interventions in promoting industrial development across the continent.

Dr Mukhwana said Kenya views IDDA III as a vital complementary component in the realization of the AU Agenda 2063’s goals of prioritizing economic growth, industrialization, and employment generation over the next three decades.

PS  said that last year, some 250 projects valued at Sh8.5 billion were implemented in the region under the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).

‘‘Along these lines, we have been able to conduct an Industrial Study Tour on Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks and the key learnings from the tour are being incorporated into the Self-Starter PCP,’’ he stated.

The PS was speaking during the 39TH session of the UNIDO Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) in Vienna Australia.

The event rallied additional support, including innovation, public –private partnership from the international community.

It also provided a platform for stakeholders to share information on issues affecting them relating to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) usage and energy efficiency among others.

Recommendations from the forum are expected to yield key initiatives to advance the African continent’s low carbon and Renewable Energy generation and distribution.

Dr Mukhwana said the programme which was signed two years ago is a self-starter for Country Partnerships (PCPs) and Country Programmes (CPs).

He said this has kicked off with the Kenya Government taking proactive steps in resource mobilization to ensure its operationalization.

The PS said that the government has made great strides with the implementation of the Self-Starter PCP anchor project, the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park (IAIP) project in Nyamira County.

UNIDO, in collaboration with various partners, has been spearheading this initiative – with the ultimate objective of giving concrete impetus to the transformation of African countries into locations of competitive industrial production.

Dr Mukhwana assured of the government commitment to inclusivity and economic development by allocating substantial financial resources for the establishment of County Aggregation and Industrial Parks across all its 47 counties.

This is to enhance farmer incomes and ensure that all devolved Counties participate actively in the national industrialization agenda.

He said the industrialization drive also extends to target Agro-Value-Chain development, establishment of Special Economic Zones, and digitization.

‘‘We advocate for UNIDO to expand the PCP and the CP initiatives to other African countries, upon their request, to ensure widespread inclusive and sustainable development across the continent.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director General Gerd Muller said Kenya has a rich renewable energy potential which is essential for the development of energy systems.

He emphasized the need to work together between industrialized countries of the Global South saying this will make the countries mobilize resources to fulfill its mandate.

‘‘Kenya gives us an example of what is necessary to overcome poverty and hunger, the consequences of climate change, and the effects of the pandemic. The world community needs to act,’’ Muller said.

He said Kenya has one of the most modern geothermal power plants in the world which meats the demand of its population.

‘‘75 percent of the energy comes from renewable sources and is produced climate-neutral. Investments and technology transfer create a future and jobs for the people,’’ he added.

However, with the after-effects of the COVID Pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the Climate change which is causing extreme damage, and the energy crisis has pushed this goal even farther out of reach.

‘‘We were hit by a high and unexpected cost increase – because of high inflation rates in the last two years. This has limited our ability to implement our programmes,’’ Muller added.

‘‘We cannot do more with less as a business model for the future. · We have much work to do to respond to the demands and ambitions of our Member States.’’

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