July 25, 2024

KAM wants Tax Incentives to Bolster Manufacturing Sector

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sharrif officially opens the Mombasa Shopping Festival at Ashwal Community Centre. (Photo By Mwakwaya Raymond)

By Harrison Kivisu and Mwakwaya Raymond

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) wants county governments to give tax incentives to bolster local manufacturing sector to actualise “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” trade initiative.

To amplify local manufacturing, sector players require proper counties’ policies that will cushion them from cost of production and over-taxation by some of the governors to boost their tax bases.

This appeal was made during the Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival, an initiative by KAM at the Oshwal Community Centre in Mombasa on Thursday. (date)

The Mombasa edition of Changamka comes at a pivotal moment as the government rolls out policies aimed at increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 7.6 percent to an ambitious 20 percent by 2030.

KAM Coast region chair Abdallah Athman urged shoppers across Mombasa county and the country at large to seize that opportunity to support local manufacturers and benefit from the festival’s discounted prices.

He praised KAM for decentralizing the festival and ensuring each county reaped from its benefits.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Changamka Mombasa is its representation of a devolved approach to economic development,” he said.

Since the implementation of the Kenya 2010 Constitution embraced a decentralised system of governance that aims to bring services closer to the people, the 47 devolved units are yet to reduce the cost of doing business, and stimulate regional economic growth.

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Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir launched the function while stressing the importance of supporting local manufacturers through policies and incentives that will catapult them to effectively compete with their peers from other parts of the world.

“The Buy Kenya, Build Kenya initiative is more than just a slogan. It’s a rallying cry that should echo throughout the nation. By supporting local manufacturing, we can drive job creation and economic development,” he said.

The Changamka Shopping Festival is a crucial platform that will propel local entrepreneurs to new heights, enabling them to compete effectively on a continental and global scale, according to him.

Currently, the County government of Mombasa is doing an independent labour analysis to guide it on not only creating jobs, but also opportunities for self-employment in the digital front.

In his view, the county has embarked on a labour market analysis that will inform the county on where the jobs are and will target those joining higher learning institutions for sponsorship and later get absorbed in the market.

“We are creating a policy currently where the Mombasa government will discount what is payable to the county, based on how many young people they will employ.”

The governor acknowledged that the ongoing conversation about the GenZ and listen to what they were saying of what they want their cries what they were saying is that they which the county was targeting to implement.

The policy, according to him, will have to go through the County Assembly and passed into law before being adopted by all manufacturers.

“From the SMEs, MME’s and big industries will be given a waiver on business permits, advertising rates for employing young people from Mombasa asking manufacturers to take advantage of that,” he said.

Key sponsors of the trade fair include grassroots business fund, NCBA, and main sponsors stanbic bank.They finance and give work capital,open global markets and partner with global manufacturers.

“There is a lot of opportunity in the globe market and stanbic bank is a key enabler to the growth of the economy by offering financial support in terms of credits and also assisting in the linkage markets,” said Florence Wanja, Stanbic bank regional head.

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According to her SMEs are the backbone of our economy and the bank is dedicated to empower such businesses with the resources and support to ensure “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” initiative succeeded.

“We are committed to supporting local manufacturers and SMEs to deliver sustainable economic growth and development in Kenya.”

The fourth edition of the Changamka festival in Mombasa runs from Thursday, 4th July 2024 to Sunday, 7th July 2024. This four-day event promises to be a transformative experience, igniting Mombasa with the spirit of local enterprise and innovation, and paving the way for a thriving Kenyan manufacturing sector.

The exciting festival offers Kenyans both within and beyond the Port City of Mombasa a unique chance to purchase high-quality products directly from local manufacturers at discounted prices, all under the inspiring banner of the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative. 

The festival serves as a dynamic convergence point for Kenyan manufacturers and key stakeholders, allowing them to display their locally crafted products and connect directly with consumers.

This will not only boosts sales, but also fosters greater awareness and appreciation of Kenya’s manufacturing sector. 

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