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Death looms over textile industry
27
May '10
The textile industry of Kenya has experienced scores of job losses over the years, due to closures and relocations. It was one of the most developing industries of Kenya, in the past.

At one time, the industry was the source of employment for almost 500,000 people, but now it provides livelihood to hardly 20,000 Kenyans. This number that keeps reducing day-by-day is a shocker for a country that has high unemployment rate.

High production costs, lack of market and credit facilities as well as higher labour costs are the major reasons among a number of other factors, responsible to destroy the textile and apparels industry.

In order to salvage the demolishing industry, the government has to take immediate concrete steps for reducing production, energy as well as labour costs in the country. Also, the cost of government services provided at the ports should be reduced.

Cost of energy in Kenya is the highest across the globe as it is priced at US 19 cents per kwh. In the neighboring countries such as Uganda and Tanzania, it costs just 10 cents per kwh, whereas in South Africa and Egypt it costs 4 cents per kwh and 2 cents per kwh, respectively.

Moreover, higher labour cost in the country has also hampered the textile business. The aggregate labour cost for unskilled workers is Sh 8,500 and this cost goes up to Sh 10,000 with the addition of other social costs.

According to the procurement law of the country, at least 15 percent of the total public procurements should be local, but the government has failed to adhere to this law in the past, as result the country's textile industry is slowly fading out.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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