By Macharia Kamau
The acting Managing Director of the Kenya Sugar Board Solomon Odera says Parliament will soon discuss the privatisation of sugar mills.
Mr Odera said a model on how to privatise the factories was developed by transaction advisors appointed by the Privatisation Commission and was recently adopted by the Cabinet.
The recommended model, which normally becomes a Bill after being drafted at the Attorney General offices, will soon be debated by Parliament to guide the sector on privatisation, which is behind schedule.
Odera hoped Parliament will fast track the process for the country to prepare adequately to meet the challenges of liberalisation of the sugar sector by February, next year.
Odera was speaking to the Press on the eve of a two-day inaugural Africa Sugar Industry conference co-hosted by International Sugar Organisation and the Sugar Board of Kenya in Nairobi.
The conference has attracted top sugar executives and millers from Singapore, UK, Brazil, Africa and Middle East. The Chairman of the Kenya Sugar Board Saulo Busolo said Kenya is a beneficiary of the World Trade Organisation safeguard measures, which Comesa is also a signatory.
Challenges and solutions
"Kenyan experience of the world trade regime is critical in assessing the country’s industries that are threatened by these measures and what challenges and solutions exist for the sugar industry in coming years," said Busolo.
The sugar board, he said, is working closely with the Government, millers and outgrowers associations to ensure smooth running of the industry even as it prepares for privatisation.
He said Kenya had been selected to host the first pan-African Sugar Conference due to the vibrancy and potential that exists in the country’s sugar industry.
Last week, Busolo told the media in Kakamega that new foreign investors were keen to put up more sugar industries in the country due to the viability of the ventures and Government investor friendly initiatives.