CS Adan Mohamed's Statement on 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV)

It is my great pleasure to announce the coming 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14)  slated to be held here in Kenya from the 17th– 22nd July 2016.

Kenya is extremely privileged once more to host a major conference on our soil. We anticipate great out comes from UNCTAD 14. Kenya and indeed Africa, has another opportunity to deliver favorable outcomes for the future of Africa and our common future as a globe.

UNCTAD 14 will bring together Heads of State and Government, ministers and other prominent players from the business world, civil society and academia to tackle global trade and economic development issues. The conference offers a unique opportunity to consider the most appropriate means of delivery for the post-2015 development agenda.

Read more: CS Adan Mohamed's Statement on 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and...

Special Economic Zones Regulations to Be Published Next Month



Special economic zones will be a reality in Kenya as Industry, Investment and Trade Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed promises to publish the Special Economic Zones regulations next month.

"The Special Economic Zones Act that is now in place has set the pace to accelerate that onset of a major industrial Transformation in our country. This is being complemented by the ongoing infrastructure projects that are geared towards making our country a cost effective manufacturing destination that yields competitive trade products", said Mr. Mohamed. The Cabinet Secretary was speaking at an inter-governmental forum in Naivasha. The Forum is reviewing draft regulations that will govern Kenya's Special Economic Zones

The Private Sector Stakeholders will, in the next 2 weeks, participate in the validation of the regulations that will be crucial in the operationalization of the new Act.

"We expect that the zones will increase investor confidence and herald a new dawn of industrial and trade investments in the


Kenya Cargo Firm Wins Global Award for Boosting Trade


More by this Author One of the leading cargo handling firms in Kenya has received an award from the World Customs Organisation for its role in boosting trade and its services to the customs community.

Transglobal Cargo Centre was handed the award by World Customs Organisation secretary general Kunio Mikuriya at events to mark International Customs Day, with the citation by Mr Mikuriya lauding it for "rendering exceptional service to the international customs community".

The firm, associated with billionaire businessman Peter Muthoka has shaken up the ground handling business at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after it entered a partnership with World Flight Services (WFS), the leading ground handling company in the world.

The new partnership, Africa Flight Services (AFS), has dramatically changed the ground handling market dynamics at JKIA.

AFS recently won the contract to handle the latest airline entrant to the Kenyan market — China Southern Airlines — challenging the previous duopoly enjoyed by Kenya Airways and Swissport.

It also clinched a lucrative deal to handle Lufthansa's ground handling needs at JKIA.

Before the entrance of AFS, Kenya Airways and Swissport maintained a stranglehold of business at the airport but AFS has in recent months broken their dominance at the key hub.

In remarks to commemorate International Customs Day, the WCO secretary general said digitising activities at key custom entry points was a necessary step in securing cross-border trade from crime, including international terrorism.

"Under the slogan, 'Digital Customs Progressive Engagement', we, as a customs community, are signalling our aspiration to further develop digital solutions and services, making life easier for the trading community, other border agencies and customs officers." The World Customs Organisation is an association of 180 countries which seeks to facilitate trade by developing international conventions on issues such as commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security and customs enforcement activities.


Kenyatta Dairy Firm Among Top Gainers from Buhari Visit


Tea and dairy processors are the immediate beneficiaries of President Muhammadu Buhari's maiden visit to Kenya after Nigeria agreed to lift a ban that has locked their products out of its market for decades.

Long life milk and tea leaves, the two commodities that Kenya enjoys comparative advantage in producing, are among the 138 products from Africa that the populous nation has banned from its territory for years.

Last week, the two sides agreed to work on a formula to lift the ban on exports of tea and dairy products.

That decision came after President Buhari lamented that the two states enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations "yet there has been no uhuru (freedom)" for traders operating between the two markets.

"The two states agreed to reconsider the decision by Nigeria banning some of the major Kenyan goods such as tea, dairy products and cotton from accessing their market," said Trade secretary Adan Mohamed.

"Kenya is an open market where Nigeria is allowed to export all goods without restriction and they should reciprocate the same," he added.

Read more: Kenyatta Dairy Firm Among Top Gainers from Buhari Visit

Why Exports Hold the Key to Kenya’s Economic Take-Off


Kenya's import orientation has revealed key flaws. One clear problem is having a chronic and substantial current account deficit.

Secondly the government has to be hawk-eyed about the shilling depreciation to keep import bills manageable. Third, the country is unable to generate forex to pay foreign-denominated debt.

Finally, Kenya's import economy exacerbates the country's unemployment problem.

How so? As an import economy we are essentially exporting jobs by hiring people from other countries to make goods for us to buy.

Thus there is a reason for serious conversation on how to re-orient the economy to be driven by manufactured exports and not the export of raw commodities.

Read more: Why Exports Hold the Key to Kenya’s Economic Take-Off

Attorney General bets on new business listing board to spur start-ups


Attorney- General Githu Muigai is banking on the newly created Business Registration Service Board to ease entry of start-ups into the market one year after reforms initiated by his office failed to produce results.

Prof Muigai wants the board members, among them top corporate talent and government officials, to speed up the ongoing companies' registry automation to cut the process of registration to just one day.

The board, chaired by former banker Carol Musyoka, has taken over the business registration function from the Registrar of Companies, which has been blamed for current inefficiencies.

"It is totally unacceptable that in 2016 in a (lower) middle income country you walk into the registry office and still find files stacked up to the roof and manually retrieved by the clerks," Prof Muigai said Wednesday during the board's inauguration.

"You should be clicking a button from the comfort of your office when seeking out these services."

Read more: Attorney General bets on new business listing board to spur start-ups

Standards Agency Says New Rules to Curb Fake Goods


The new rules on exports will help net fake products coming into the country and boost efforts to rid the country of sub-standard goods, the Kenya Bureau of Standards has said.

On August 1 last year the standard agency began implementing secure quality marks and stickers complete with track-and-trace software where importers of goods are required to apply for an import standardisation mark (ISM) by submitting copies of certificate of conformity (COC).

According to the new rules, no imported product is allowed for sale in the Kenyan market without ISM sticker after 30 June this year.

Read more: Standards Agency Says New Rules to Curb Fake Goods

Marsabit Launches Sh30m Enterprise Fund for Youth and Women


Marsabit has launched a Sh30 million Enterprise Fund aimed at boosting micro and small businesses among youths and women.

The subsidised fund will be disbursed annually to sustain operations of small and medium-sized enterprises.

"We intend to create an entrepreneurial culture within the county by funding innovative enterprises," said county boss Ukur Yatani on Tuesday during the swearing-in of the committee that will be in charge of the fund at the county headquarters.

Mr Yatani said he is optimistic that the new committee will speed up the disbursement of the cash.

The governor said the subsidised loan tenure will run for a maximum of two years.

Read more: Marsabit Launches Sh30m Enterprise Fund for Youth and Women

Ministry of Industrialization Reaffirms Commitment to the Manufacturing Sector


The Ministry of Industrialization has reaffirmed its commitment to growing the manufacturing sector in order to tangibly contribute to reducing the high unemployment rate in the country.

At a meeting today between Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, stakeholders discussed key priority areas for the manufacturing sector for 2016.

The meeting sort to address outstanding issues faced by different sectors within manufacturing that stifle their growth and capacity to contribute more towards the GDP. KAM Sector representatives highlighted a number of areas of concern which include; the need to effect the Buy Kenya Build Kenya Policy, Preferences on Local Procurement, improved competitiveness and reduction of the cost of doing business. The latter results from taxation such as the IDF fees, Railway Development Levy (RDL), Excise Bill, VAT refunds. 

KAM also highlighted the cost of energy and labour, delays in receiving payment from Government resulting in cash flow issues and the duplication of regulatory bodies adding to the cost of doing business.

Read more: Ministry of Industrialization Reaffirms Commitment to the Manufacturing Sector

Global Logistics Firm Ranks Kenya in Africa Top Four


Kenya is among the top-four countries in Africa with the biggest economic growth promise over the next five years, a new survey of global logistics executives shows.

The survey by Agility, a global logistics provider, also shows that consumer spending by a fast-growing middle class is as important a growth driver in Africa as mineral and oil resources.

In the 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, Kenya is ranked behind South Africa and Nigeria but ahead of Ghana and Angola in the list of top five promising states.

"The market is open for first movers who can navigate risk and nurture African talent," says Geoffrey White, the chief executive officer of Agility Africa.

"The opportunity is for those seeking to build long-term, sustainable businesses that bring world-class practices and adapt to local conditions. Africa's requirement for logistics services and supply chain expertise is huge and growing every day."

Read more: Global Logistics Firm Ranks Kenya in Africa Top Four


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