Manufacturers have called on Kenyans to support the local economy by purchasing locally produced goods and products.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chairperson, Mucai Kunyiha made the remarks at the official launch of the Changamka Kenya Shopping Festival. He stated that the event will build producers’ confidence in the quality of their products.

The festival, which will feature over 120 companies from a variety of industries, is expected to expose Kenyans to new innovations and wide selection of goods.

“We are currently experiencing rising activity that is much higher than previously registered over the last 18 months, a trend that we expect to continue steadily over the short to medium term,” said Mucai.

He further emphasized that the Manufacturers Summit and Expo to be in Nairobi from November 24th to 28th and the Expo scheduled for Mombasa from December 1st to 4th, will expose local manufacturers to different clients.

He noted that the process of confidence building will rally sector players to also discuss common challenges facing them, including domestic and regional trade policy. These include addressing competitiveness components such as energy access and costs, transport and logistics as well as taxes.

On her part, KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga pointed out that local producers have ramped up their efforts to build their capacity to serve both the local, regional and international markets.

“We intend to boost our members’ technical ability and knowledge about the nature and quality of in order to build Kenyan businesses to access more markets,” she said, adding that the association is keen to support emerging firms to penetrate the rest of the African region. This will increase intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Middle East and Europe. This will expand the Kenyan economy by at least Ksh. 300 billion if done successfully.

Betty Maina, the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development noted that the Changamka Festival lends itself to the broader national Buy Kenya, Build Kenya strategy designed to position Kenya as an export-oriented growth economy while at the same time maintaining a level of domestic consumption sufficient to support the local value chains.