The government is seeking ways of cutting down production costs in the textile sector in partnership with technical institutions around the country in its efforts to boost manufacturing as part of the Big Four Agenda. Speaking at Kisumu National Polytechnic last Friday when he held a roundtable meeting with textile industry entrepreneurs in the region to deliberate on how to rejuvenate the sector, Vocational, and Technical Training Principal Secretary, Dr Kevit Desai said the textile industry has been identified as one of the key drivers to help realize the industrialization goal of the big four agenda. “We are looking at the whole value chain of the sector to enhance production, competitiveness and revive the industry which has collapsed,” said the PS.
He said the meetings will examine the seed-to-shop problems that hamper development in the textile industry, such as high energy costs and limited markets. “Institutions such as the Kisumu Polytechnic, with its training and incubation hub, need to create the requisite skills to improve productivity … The more capacities within the industry, the more the right production techniques are utilized and this extends to marketing and value chains,” he added.
Dr. Desai revealed the government has boosted the competence of technical institutions to offer world-class training and research to improve the industry, pointing out that many have rolled out training courses and research to invigorate manufacturing. TKNP houses the Sh1.5 billion African Centre of Excellence in Textile that the World Bank-sponsored and will enroll students from across the region starting in 2019. The center is integral in the East African Community’s policy to phase out second-hand clothes beginning next year.
TKNP Principal, Mrs. Joyce Nyanjom revealed that the college has already introduced short courses covering textiles to build capacity for professionals seeking jobs in the industry. The programs will boost skills to improve productivity and creativity in the industry. “The biggest problem our SMEs face is lack of skills and we hope to address that through these programs,” she said.