Manufacturers from the coastal region have asked the state to support the sector in expanding production for the local, regional and international market.
They found that there was plenty of economic activity that local producers could take up with the rise of the blue economy and called for incentives from the government.
During the first Manufacturers Summit and Expo over the weekend, Mucai Kunyiha, chairman of the Kenyan Manufacturers Association (KAM) stated that there are numerous economic activities such as shipbuilding and fishing that local producers could use to boost exports for the country and thus the blue economic sector.
“The blue economy has immense economic activity, including shipbuilding for the domestic and regional markets, that Kenyan companies can supply,” said Kunyiha.
The forum took place in the Wild Waters Center in Nyali.
Kenya, Kunyiha said, has tremendous potential as an industrialized country and the blue economy gives them an opportunity to demonstrate entrepreneurial acumen and innovation.
This includes added value for industries like glass, salt, seafood, recycling and ocean transportation, he noted.
KAM Coast Chapter Vice-Chair Abdalla Athman said the local sector has many businesses that have survived generations and should be sustained.
“The local manufacturing sector has many companies run by their third generation founders and it is important that they survive for future generations,” he said.
He cited Mombasa County’s Southern Engineering Company, which builds ships, boats, and ferries for the local and regional market.
“These are important milestones that require government support. We don’t have to import ferries, ships and boats. As we build the blue economy, Kenya has the necessary technical expertise to provide equipment and facilities for the various industries, ”said Athman.
He added that the country is evolving in terms of population growth, urbanization and decentralization, and urged local manufacturers to find ways to harness each county’s local resources to produce goods for local consumption and export to the region.
“Kenya has an abundance of untapped marine resources along its coast. Immediate initiatives by government and other stakeholders have focused on helping coastal communities develop these resources in ways that are sustainable and offer economic opportunities for women and youth, as well as developing new work processes such as small-scale fishing, waste recycling, and aquaculture Tourism. ”He argued.
Since 2005, the Mombasa Port Development Program has made significant investments in improving port capacity and efficiency.
The volume of cargo in the port of Mombasa increased from 14.4 million tons in 2006 to 27 million tons in 2017 and is expected to reach 44 million tons by 2025.