The Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) Launch
Message from Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
June 9th 2019 marked an important milestone towards the ongoing digitizing and transformation initiatives for Kenya’s global competitiveness. The Ministry, with support from credit from the World Bank is launching the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP). The project aims to increase innovation and productivity in select private sector firms.
Kenya’s long term development agenda, the Kenya Vision 2030 envisages the country becoming a newly industrialized, high middle income country by the year 2030. Manufacturing was therefore identified as a key priority area both by the Vision and Big Four transformational agenda. My Ministry is charged with the responsibility of spearheading growth and development of manufacturing sector in line with Big Four Agenda targets. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are considered the ‘bedrock’ of Kenya’s manufacturing base hence need to promote, incubate and nurture new enterprises including innovative startups. These startups, are increasingly changing and disrupting the traditional way of doing business and operate within an emerging innovation ecosystem.
KIEP seeks to strengthen this innovation ecosystem, as part of implementation of the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program to create more jobs for youth. The project will also create a startup – Industry platform to create linkages between startups, traditional industries and international networks. The project will also aid SMEs in improving their managerial and technical capabilities in order to better compete at both local and international markets.
The Government has invested heavily in ICT infrastructure, the media supporting these new MSMEs. In enhancing the business environment, Government services are being re-engineered, automated and simplified. These initiatives have been recognized globally with the recent one being ranked the best in Africa and the 52nd globally out of 194 countries in the Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index 2019. This Index is compiled by Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre. AI technologies are forecast to add US$ 15 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Through this launch today, the Ministry wishes to reach all potential beneficiaries to create awareness on the project objects and goals. Together, lets grow our MSME Sector and modernize the manufacturing sector.
Message by the Principal Secretary for Industrialization, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives
The State Department of Industrialization, wishes to inform you all of the launch of the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP). The project provides a platform for Kenyan youths to use their talents in developing innovative solutions to drive manufacturing. Despite the increase in innovations in Kenya, there is still limited talent, skills and pool of internationally competitive, technology enabled businesses. In filling the skills gap, an innovation ecosystem is emerging to boost in-demand, competitive talent and catalyze systemic changes to the formal education system.
KIEP will assist strengthen this ecosystem and grow the emerging startups into key MSMEs. In 2019, the MSE sector generated 14.8 million (79.8%) of the total 17.8 million jobs recorded in 2018. Further analysis of SMEs reveals that they have difficulties in improving productivity, connecting to global and regional chains due to limited technical, managerial and technological practices. With technological usage, manufacturing is becoming more global, more automated, more highly skilled, more infused with technology, and more integrated with services. This will be addressed by KIEP’s component on SME Linkages and upgrading.
The ICT sector is both a driver and enabler for the Big Four Manufacturing Pillar. As an enabler, KIEP will strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition, KIEP will drive technology adoption at a firm level through targeted support to SMEs across the country. As a driver, the manufacture and assembly of ICT related machines, equipment, tools, components and parts has been prioritized as one of the priority sub-sectors.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is now in force having realized the requisite number of Ratifications. The launch of KIEP comes at an opportune time to tap not only into Africa’s digital evolution, but also the increased continental market size, the largest FTA in the world. KIEP will therefore enhance Intra-Africa trade through increased productivity and competitiveness of Kenyan firms. I wish to thank the World Bank for facilitating credit and expertise for KIEP for the development and implementation of the project. I encourage all direct and indirect beneficiaries to use the KIEP platform to its greatest potential.
Story credits: http://www.kiep.go.ke/news/