Kenya’s industry competitiveness stagnates at position 115 globally

Kenya’s industry competitiveness stagnates at position 115 globally

Kenya has failed to mark forward gains in its industry competitiveness retaining a rank of 115 out of 152 countries surveyed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The lacklustre ranking leaves Kenya behind peers Egypt and South Africa who rank at higher positions, 64 and 52 respectively.

Neighbours Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda however rank lower at positions 123, 128 and 142 respectively putting Kenya at the top of the pile in the region.

The poor ranking is attributable to the low deployment of technology in manufacturing which accounted for 5.5 per cent against a higher count of resource based manufacturing at 42.9 per cent.

“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 Industrialization Principal Secretary Francis Owino during the launch of the UNIDO Competitive Industrial Performance (CIP) report on Tuesday.

On the contrary, Kenya has seen an improved rank in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business reports having reached a new high of position 56 last year but has struggled to sustainably produce goods and services.

Local manufacturers have continued to lament high production costs which feature in part costly electricity bills and an unpredictable tax regime.

“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,” said Chairman to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chairman Mucai Kunyiha.

The UNIDO competitive index benchmarks the ability of countries to produce and export manufactured goods competitively and provides a yardstick against which Kenya can compare its manufacturing competitiveness on a global level.