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Kenya mulls framework to bloc imports that threat local industries

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 12, 2019
African economies   Kenya is prioritizing the manufacturing sector due to the critical role

Kenya plans to put in place a legal framework to curb imports of goods that threaten local industries, a government official said on Thursday.

Chris Kiptoo, principal secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperation, told journalists in Nairobi the legal and regulatory framework will soon become operational to prevent unfair import competition.

"The objective is to curb dumping of cheap imports in order to catalyze the industrialization in Kenya," Kiptoo said.

The east African nation has set a target of expanding the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the overall economy, at less than 9 percent now, to 15 percent in 2022.

"Kenya is prioritizing the manufacturing sector due to the critical role it plays in job creation and wealth creation in the country," Kiptoo said.

The ministry of industry says Kenya has huge natural resources in agriculture and mineral sectors that can be processed to produce goods that have high demand in global markets.

Kiptoo said economic liberalization in the 1990s led to the collapse of the country's once vibrant industrial sector due to an influx of cheap imports.

"We are now prioritizing the revival of industries especially in the textile, leather, furniture and agricultural sectors in order to expand the country's industrial base," he said.

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