The textile sector in Kenya has potential to generate over 500,000 new jobs across its value chain during the next two years, according to Mr. Adan Abdulla Mohamed, the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Enterprise Development.
Speaking at the Export Processing Zones Complex in Athi River, a town outside the capital Nairobi, Mr. Mohamed said the Government seeks to address the problems plaguing the country’s textile and apparel industry.
He said the Ministry of Industrialization has initiated new measures to boost the country’s domestic textile production, which includes curbing the imports of Mitumba or second-hand clothing, capitalfm.co.ke reported.
He said the export processing zones in the country have the potential to create more than 500,000 jobs across the textile value chain during the next 24 months, provided a right mix of policy interventions are implemented.
The Ministry is backing the Special Economic Zones bill aimed at facilitating investments across other interdependent sectors, Mr. Mohamed said.
He urged the investors, both who are based in the EPZ as well as not based in EPZ, to consider investing in Kenya’s textile sector to get quick benefits for the country’s economy, and ultimately to cotton farmers.
According to a study undertaken by the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF), an industry lobby group, Kenya produces 12 million sq m of woven fabric per year, which is less than 7 percent of its overall annual domestic requirement, and the rest is imported.