Need and Benefits of Manufacturing Electronic Components and Equipment Locally

Oteri Omae


Although Kenya's electronic industry is still at its infancy, a number of firms in the assembly, testing, repair and maintenance of electronic goods are in operation and are rapidly increasing their scope of activities to meet the growing demands of the industry. Even if a few of these companies have started most of the electronic components and equipment are being imported. This leaves our country at a loss since we will continue relying on foreign countries in terms of manufacturing. Key opportunities for direct investments, joint-ventures and subcontracting exist in assembly of a wide range of electronic goods in Kenya, especially within the Manufacturing Under Bond scheme and Export Processing Zone Programmes. These include the production of; resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors and integrated circuits. Consumer electronics, such as colour televisions, Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs), printers, floppy disk drives and Compact Disk Roms (CD-Rs); Telecommunication equipment, such as printed circuit boards, and transmission equipment; and Support items such as cables, cords, die casting and metal plating. With a labour force which is well-equipped to meet the labour skill requirements for the industry and the relatively large domestic and export market potential of electronics in the region, Kenya offers an enormous potential for the manufacturing and assembly of electronic items. This paper aims at encouraging Kenyans to come up with firms which can manufacture electronic components. This can help a lot in achieving the vision 2030. The benefits of local manufacturing are so many that the government through ministry of industrialization should come up with policies which can create a conducive environment for electronic component and equipment manufacturing. Benefits are like creation of employment, enhancing economic growth and creation of a very good research and learning environment. I believe that if such a firms are created then our country can compete with China which is now becoming an economic giant since this is where they started from.


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