How to Grow Manufacturing and Create Jobs in a Digital Economy: 10 Policy Priorities for Kenya

Karishma Banga and Dirk Willem te Velde, November 2018



The global manufacturing landscape is changing rapidly with the increasing use of digital technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, presenting both important opportunities and challenges for manufacturing and job creation. While Kenya has emerged as the leader of digitalisation in the African context there is still a significant digital divide within the country, when compared with developed countries and Asian economies, in terms of access to and use of technology. At the same time, there are growing fears that rapid digitalisation might hamper job creation efforts, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

This report, produced in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), develops a framework of 10 policy priorities to support the successful digital transformation of Kenyan manufacturing, by building digital capabilities, fostering competitiveness and managing inclusive digital change.

This report was launched at a workshop in Nairobi on 28 November 2018. For more detail, click here.

Media coverage

‘Q-and-A-with-KAM-CEO-Phyllis-Wakiaga ‘,The Nation, 15 December 2019

‘Kenya’s manufacturers urged to embrace robotics, artificial intelligence’, The Exchange, 26 November

‘New report roots for robotics and artificial intelligence’, Capital FM Business, 29 November

‘Kenyan manufacturing at risk if government and firms fail to embrace digitalization future – report’, Soko Directory, 29 November

‘Kenyan gov’t, firms urged to embrace innovation to spur manufacturing’, Xinhua, 29 November

‘More Kenyans tipped to lose jobs to machines’, Standard Digital, 30 November

‘Low digitisation to stunt Kenya’s competitiveness’, The Star, 1 December

‘SGR doing more harm than good, says KAM’, The Star, 1 December

Photo: Use of computer-aided design software/computer-aided manufacturing for t-shirt production at New Wide Garments, Kenya (2018). Karishma Banga/SET programme. All rights reserved.