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Engineering & Construction

Engineering and Construction Industries

Headed by a Director of Industries 

The mandate of the directorate is to develop roadmaps for major engineering and construction programmes, coordinating between them, and providing strategic support for emerging industries and policy areas under the "BETA" agenda.

The specific objectives of the directorate focuses on the following sectors:

  1. Automotive sector  development;
  2. Furniture Sector;
  3. Industrial engineering;
  4. Iron and steel;
  5. Agro machinery;
  6. Industrial  linkages and subcontracting;
  7. Construction and building materials,
  8. Electrical and electronics sectors.
  1. Develop a motor vehicle sector acceleration plan.
    The current economic dynamics has accelerated deep structural change in the automotive industry, setting the stage for sustainable growth. High-cost exporting countries are experiencing domestic capacity closing as vehicle production continues to migrate to the lower-cost centers.
    High-volume global platform architectures are becoming the norm and convergence is driving the emergence of new business models characterized by alliances with players from other industries to support new technologies. It is against this background that the department plans to develop a motor vehicle acceleration plan anchored on technology and skills development to reflect new sets of demand.
  2. Development of the local content policy and promotion of local manufacture.
    The automobile industry worldwide is technology intensive both as regards its processes and its products and is characterized by considerable economies of scale and a high degree of specialization in component manufacture. Largely for these reasons, the world industry has increasingly become internationalized, with component production for individual models located in many countries and assembly concentrated in large domestic markets or in countries which are a base for regional exports.
    With the recent developments in the sector where a number of companies are setting up assembly plants in the country, and making the country as base for regional exports, the department supported the development of a Local Content Policy and promoting local manufacture to be able to tap into the technology and skills development for the country.

The performance of the furniture and timber sector in Kenya is important both to employment and growth in the country. The sector employs 160,000 people starting from the forestry sector all the way to manufacturing. However, a number of challenges such as limited labour skills and poor production facilities hamper the full exploitation of the potential of this sector

To promote local furniture production and consumption, the department is involved in undertaking the following:

  1. Review classification of furniture into raw materials, intermediaries and finished products to remove duty anomalies.
  2. Monitor Government procurement for furniture to be limited to those made in Kenya under Buy Kenya Build Kenya Strategy.
  3. Work with County Governments to identify village polytechnics/other institutions that be upgraded to act as Centers of excellence for the sector at the county level.
  4. Finalize and publish policy guidelines, categorization and specifications for furniture made in Kenya.
  5. Work with sector stakeholders to prepare and update inventory of furniture products made in Kenya, firms involved and promote the formation of linkages to facilitate subcontracting mechanisms.
  6. Coordinate the formation of official industry association to represent sector interests, promote PPPs and Kenyan furniture and share best practices.

Technological capacity is a reflection of the industrialization level in Kenya. It’s growth is the source of creating industrial competitiveness to survive the global markets. Industrial technological capacity of a nation can be analyzed by both internal and external factors of manufacturers; the former comprises engineering and management technologies while the latter comprises of effectiveness of supporting institutions and policy measures.

Under industrial engineering, the department focuses on internal technological capacities of organizations by encouraging the use of industrial engineering and management tools which deals with the optimization of complex processes, systems, or organizations with the view of eliminating waste of time, money, materials, person-hours, machine time, energy and other resources that do not generate value and enhance competitiveness on the global markets. Such tools include kaizen, CAD and CAM.

Steel is the backbone of the economic activity of any country. The per capita steel consumption is an internationally recognized indicator of the level of development of any country. Direct and indirect consumption of steel in Kenya is projected to increase as the country embarks on the development activities as envisioned in Vision 2030.

The major Vision 2030 projects include Lamu port development, railway and roads projects, housing, Industrial parks and the development of the special economic zones all of which utilize steel products. The Iron and Steel industry in Kenya forms about 13 percent of the manufacturing sector, which in turn contributes significantly to the GDP.

The local steel industry is heavily dependent on imported raw materials, as no local sources have been developed to date. The local deposits of iron ore and coal, which are the raw materials for the production of iron, that have been identified in several Locations in the country have not attracted commercial interest.

The department is spearheading the development of lron and Steel Industries as part of the Vision 2030 flagship projects and the following activities are underway:

  1. Attracting investment in the sector
  2. Promote the use of foundry technology by mapping out foundries in the country
  3. Development of the iron and steel policy
  4. Finalization of Regulation of scrap metals

Agro machinery sub sector consists of (a) metallic products,(b)non -electrical machinery and (c) transport equipment in accordance with KEBS's industrial classification .contribution of the sector to GDP has been dropping over the years from 3% in the1990s to 0.7 % by 2005. Many manufacturing enterprises stopping their operations shifting to mere import- substituting traders is the key reason to the decline.

The department carries out the  following interventions;

  1. Carry out mapping of agro-machinery manufacturers in the country and develop data base of information to guide policy planning for the sector and an accelerated action plan
  2. Map out trends in industrial technology for agro machinery and link to training from artisan level to engineers level to enhance quality and cost competitiveness.
  3. Promote investment in local assembly of at least one agro-machinery.
  4. Promote local content in the assembly of one agro-machinery

In Kenya, SMEs play a key role in economic develo3pment and job creation. In 2014, 80% of jobs created were dominated by SMEs. As the country struggles with a negative balance of payments, SMEs could be nurtured and encouraged to enhance their competitiveness and export more of their products, thus helping the country address the imbalance between imports and exports.

Key to nurturing SMEs is by establishing linkages and subcontracting mechanisms. SMEs could forge horizontal links between themselves and vertical linkages with larger manufacturing and service industries for increased market access, enhanced investment flows, skills development, technological advancements and attaining cost competitiveness.

The department has a strategic intervention in the area of linkages and subcontracting which has been tried from the 70’s without success by;

  1. Mapping out sector players in the selected sectors
  2. Promoting standardization of products in selected sectors and development of parts database of the standardized products
  3. Promotion of linkages and subcontracting mechanisms horizontally and vertically

Market for construction materials are steadily growing. Some construction materials are also procurable domestically. Producing higher value added products such as decorated ceramic tiles, stained glass, local production of construction equipment attraction of at least one investment in production of construction materials and equipment, and expansion to the regional markets are the key strategies the departments will be pursuing.

Electrical and electronic subsector is one of the subsectors in the country whose activities are still at the infant stage; however the market size is rapidly expanding because of ICT development. The policy attention is needed to exploit market opportunities for the development of the sector which is currently undermined by heavy reliance on imported products. Due to the small number of players the contribution of this sector to the total value addition manufacturing sector is about 2%.

The department is pursuing the following strategies to develop the sector;

  1. Promote local content in electrical and electronics assembly anchored on the strength in the manufacture of plastics, metal and rubber products as they for part of the electrical and electronics parts.
  2. Develop an electrical and electronics sector acceleration plan.
  3. Promote and attract at least 2 new electronic assembly investments.
  4. Map out the relevant skills in electrical and electronics development and promote them in technological education and training in the country.