KEPSA participated in a stakeholders meeting hosted by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in partnership with Nairobi City County Government on 11th July 2018 represented at the Royal Orchid Hotel to review the draft Nairobi City County Trade and Markets Policy which is under development.
The meeting brought together representatives from the Nairobi County government, the State Department of Trade and business representatives from the formal and informal Business Groups operating within Nairobi County led by the Nairobi Chamber.
The Nairobi Trade Policy will serve as the overarching framework to streamline trade within Nairobi, guide trade related legislations and address challenges of inadequate market infrastructure, limited market spaces, waste management, haphazard business activities within the city, access to affordable credit for SMEs, among other challenges.
The Policy is in line with Constitutional requirements and will be aligned to the National Trade Policy, the Big 4 Agenda essentially to enhance exports growth through value addition, the Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals, as well as County Strategic Plans such as the County Integrated Development Plan.
From the meeting, it emerged that Nairobi has a deficit of nearly 100 markets, and the existing 43 markets operate below optimal capacity. Therefore, the county will endeavor to ensure a ratio of 1 market for every 25,000 – 30,000 people within the city. Lack of data on the traders was identified as one of the main challenges to ensure effective planning of the markets.
Speaking on behalf of the PS. State Department of Trade, Mr. Robert Okoth emphasized the need to streamline licensing and business regulations countrywide. He observed that Counties including Nairobi still continue to rely on former Local Governments by-Laws that have been overtaken by time. He also noted with concern the increasing involvement of foreign businesses in the Small and Medium Sized space, a trend that needs to be properly regulated.
The State Department of Trade has already launched the National Trade Policy, the National Export Strategy, and the Buy Kenya Build Kenya which are under implementation. He reported that a National Trade Bill is in advanced stages, as well as the development of the Code of Conduct for the Retail Sector and the Local Content Policy.
Counties were urged by the Kenya Law Reform Commission to make use of their services in development of laws/policies to ensure they are of good quality, do not contravene other laws and that they are enforceable. Other services offered by KLRC include research, law models, advice on law reforms, training, pre-publication reviews of policies, etc.