Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 26 August 2005

Kenya to Build Stores in Sudan

by Mwaniki Wahome And Patrick Nzioka, The Nation.

Aug 26, 2005 (Nairobi) — The Kenyan Government will build warehouses in Southern Sudan to help local businessmen export their products to the emerging market.

The moribund Kenya Trading Development Corporation will be revived to act as a platform to speed up exports to Southern Sudan, said Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi.

Cheap and secure stores

He said the warehouses would ensure that Kenya’s businesspeople have cheap and secure stores in the region. He would not say how much the building will cost or the time the Government will take.

But his ministry, he said, had prepared a Cabinet memorandum for discussion and possible approval and that he was optimistic the discussion will take the shortest time possible.

The minister, who was launching new products at the Haco Industries, Nairobi, said Kenya’s economic turnaround was real.

The tourism industry had grown by 60 per cent in the first six months of this year with American tourists surpassing the Germans despite the negative US travel advisories, said Dr Kituyi.

Other sectors which had registered recognisable growth included cement, dairy and service, where perpetual loss-makers, such as the Kenya Power and Lighting Company and East African Portland, had registered impressive results.

He said: "When you look at the performance of local companies, you get optimistic about the economy. We want local manufacturers to take advantage of an expanding local market."

Misguided philanthropy

He said: "Political tact without economic development is misguided philanthropy. We are losing opportunities to foreigners, some of whom are operating from Nairobi as we engage in endless politics."

Haco chairman Chris Kirubi said the launch was a show of confidence in Kenya’s economy and the East African market.

Manufacturers, he said, were happy with the enactment of Bills to streamline procurement and fight corruption.

Mr Kirubi asked the Government to ensure trade in counterfeits and sub-standard goods is eliminated through speedy enactment of the counterfeit Bill.