Industrial Minister Visits Enda

Betty Maina visits Enda factory

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Hon. Betty C. Maina (CBS) visited our factory in Kilifi to see how Enda are making world class shoes in Kenya. She was quite impressed with the quality of the processes put in place at the factory, and commended the workers for their level of professionalism.

Ms. Maina talked about the possibility of creating world class products in Kenya. She expressed how there is great opportunity for growth, for Kenya to be involved in the manufacturing of products that are considered to be of international standards. Consequently, if the industry is able to grow, it would be able to spill over to the growth of local supply chains.

Betty Maina looks at an Enda shoe

Ms. Maina also touched on the issue of underrepresentation of women and youth, in manufacturing.

Her questions to us were:

  1. How can we influence inclusivity for these marginalized groups especially considering that markets are unfairly manipulated to benefit only the dominant groups, which in this case is groups that accumulate capital to venture into manufacturing?
  2. What lessons about our journey can Enda share with the community to help others start as well as achieve sustainable growth?
  3. What policies can the government introduce to cater to this inclusivity to ensure access to such opportunities are made easier for women and the youth to be fully involved?
There aren’t easy answers to any of these questions. Certainly we need to see the investment community seek out the opportunities presented by entrepreneurs from more marginalized communities. And hopefully the government can change policies to support small brands like us. Large international manufacturers receive preferential tax breaks in export processing zones, but smaller startups don’t get these benefits, nor do domestic manufacturers.

There’s lots of work to be done, but the future is bright for manufacturing in Kenya, and we all have the opportunity to contribute to its growth.