The 2020 Competitive Industrial Performance Index (CIP) Report has ranked Kenya as the best producer and exporter of manufactured goods in East Africa.
The CIP report which was released by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), scales the capacity of 152 countries in manufacturing and exporting factory-made goods competitively. Kenya was ranked position 115 in the global report ahead of Tanzania and Uganda who came in at number 123 and number 128 respectively.
Kenya was however ranked much lower than its continental competitors South Africa and Egypt who came in at number 52 and 64 respectively.
Globally, China – one of the largest exporters of products to Africa- came in at number 2, underscoring the Asian nation’s strong manufacturing industry which relies heavily on technology to spur production. 30.6 percent of Chinese manufacturers employ technology in their production process while 9.3 percent are resource-based manufacturers. This is the opposite in Kenya, where resource-based manufacturers dominate at 42.9 percent and technology-based manufacturers stand at 5.5 percent.
Commenting on the findings of the CIP report during its virtual launch in Nairobi, Principal Secretary Ministry of Industrialization Dr. Francis Owino insisted that Kenya needs to augment its manufacturing industry in order to compete on a global scale with manufacturing powerhouses such as China.
“This report shows Kenya is at position 115 out of 152. This is far from our expectations and calls for urgent need to collaborate to achieve faster growth in the sector. We will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders to achieve targets in the policy-making formula to get Kenya in the global competitiveness map,” said Dr. Owino.
On his part, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chairman, Mucai Kunyiha, who was also in attendance during the virtual launch of the report, noted that competitiveness is vital to the country’s industrialization journey as it can create more jobs for the Kenyan populace which will, in turn, boost the economy in the process.
“Ease of Doing Business is a ‘necessary but not sufficient’ condition to improve growth and prosperity. We must also look at our ability to produce goods for which there is a market at a price and quality that their market is willing to pay for. Whilst Kenya ranks top position within EAC countries in this CIP Index, a lot still needs to be done in order to be competitive at a global scale,” Mr. Kunyiha said.