The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has responded to Parliament’s decision on the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill.

In a statement released by KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga, KAM stated that it is unconscionable for lawmakers to dilute the efforts of local manufacturers to recover economically and invest in this country.

The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill proposed to amend the Principal Act by the following

Requiring that all foreign tenders source not less than 40% of their supplies from local contractors. Increasing the amount for tenders where Kenyan Citizens are given exclusive preference from Ksh. 500,000,000 to Ksh. 20,000,000,000.

“By rejecting the Bill, Parliament sends a clear message to local manufacturers, local creators and innovators that the country is not at all committed to nurturing their businesses. This move erodes the competitiveness of Made in Kenya products and gives full advantage to foreign products which already highly encroach the local market share. From the economic lessons of the pandemic, we need to prioritize being self-sufficient as a country, and yet policies such as these move contrary and push us further into being a trading nation,” read an excerpt from the statement.

Currently, 334 manufactured products have been gazette by the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.

According to KAM, the decline in the growth of the local sector will increase the already high rates of unemployment.

As consumer landscapes continue to change, businesses are adapting to the new normal, as they grapple with the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. The proposed Bill would have supported the maintenance and strengthening of supply chains, to ensure there are no disruptions in future, in the presence of a crisis.

The Association has reiterated its commitment to assure all Kenyan citizens of the local industries’ capacity to sustainably produce high quality products for the country and export markets.