Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Kenya
Since achieving independence in 1962 Kenya’s economy has remained largely agriculture based, so industrialisation remains a key factor in Kenya’s development plans. In 2011 the industrial sector in Kenya contributed 16% of the country’s GDP; the contribution of GDP from industry has remained fairly consistent throughout the 2000s. Kenya’s industrial production growth rate for 2011 was recorded as 3.1% (CIA World Factbook 2011). Manufacturing contributes 11% of Kenya’s GDP per capita, and makes up the largest section of the country’s industrial production. Kenya is rated 129 out of 185 countries by the World Bank for ease of doing business, a ranking based on how conducive the regulatory environment is to the opening and operation of a local firm.
In 2011 the manufacturing sector in Kenya employed 254,000 people equivalent to 13% of total employment, and contributed US$285,698 towards the country’s GDP, making manufacturing an important part of the Kenyan economy. Added to this, the informal side of the manufacturing industry currently employs a further 1.4 million workers.
Industrial products include food, plastic goods, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour, fuels, steel and cement. Food-processing is the largest manufacturing sub-sector, with more than 1,200 companies producing food and beverages, many of them from milk, cereals and fish.Major companies in fish production in Kenya include: Kenya Cold Storage; Perch foods; Samaki Industries; Victoria Nile Perch and Wananchi Marine Products. In 2013 Kenya’s fish processing factories had the capacity to process 25,000 tonnes of raw fish per year.
In 2010 Kenya exported the equivalent of US$4,723,558,847; major contributors were vegetable products 50%; food beverages and tobacco 9% and chemicals 8.5% (United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database 2010). In 2011 locally manufactured goods comprised 25% of Kenya’s exports. Imports continually outweighed exports by over 50% from 2005-2010, suggesting that the Kenyan manufacturing sector is highly import dependant. Kenya’s 2010 imports measured US$9,376,736,812 in 2010; the major import related industries are minerals 12.5%; and vehicles and transport 15.3% (United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database 2010). The high reliance on imports throughout Eastern Africa suggests that Kenya’s regional competitiveness could be improved by gradually replacing their external suppliers.
In the 2012-2013 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report Kenya ranked 68 out of 144 countries in the report. For production process sophistication Kenya was given a score of 3.6 out of 7.0, where 7.0 is the most desirable. Kenya ranked higher than many other countries in the East African region, with Uganda receiving a rating of 122 and scoring 2.8.
The overall performance of the manufacturing sector has been affected by low capital injection and high costs of doing business brought about by underdeveloped physical infrastructure, limited access to finance, and underdeveloped institutional frameworks and skills; resulting in limited FDI and increased external investment (Mars Group Kenya, manufacturing and industry sector report 2011).
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is a national bureau involved in the preparation of standards relating to amongst others things, products, materials and processes; as well as being responsible for the promotion of these standards at all levels and the circulation of information relating to standards. The bureau also deals with the certification of industrial products; assists in the production of quality goods; and aims to improve measurement accuracy.
Since 1959 The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has been responsible for representing the interests of employers both locally and internationally. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is a national industrial association serving and representing employees within the manufacturing industry of the Kenyan economy. Membership is voluntary.