On October 5, 2019, Kitui Governor, H.E Charity Ngilu left the country for Taipei, Tawain to attend the 23rd edition of Taipei Innovative textile application show (TITAS).
TITAS is one of the largest gathering of the textile world with a focus on sustainable, smart and functional textiles.
In February 2018, Governor Ngilu made a similar benchmarking trip to India where she visited Brandix in India’s apparel district.
She came back and set up our textile factory now famed Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC). From India, KICOTEC was born.
Today the facility employs more than 350 youth and has created a micro-economy in its surroundings that benefits hundreds of Kitui residents.
Kitui County Boss thanks his top boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta for the chance and believing in Kitui County.
“I sincerely thank H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration for standing with the young people of Kitui and his continued support for KICOTEC. ” said Governor Ngilu.
“We have attained some level of operation and stability. However, we stare at the risk of finding ourselves in the comfort zone if we don’t keep on benchmarking, implementing what we learn and aspire to the best in the industry.” she added
Ngilu’s administration has an ambitious plan to ensure that Kitui apparel products are on the international markets. This will only achieve if it focuses to attain a high level of efficiency, deploy the latest technology in the apparel industry even as it continue to source more jobs to Kitui.
As in her manifesto, her vision to make Kitui the Apparel County of Kenya and to establish Apparel factories across the county.
The Taipei Innovative textile application show whose theme Sustainable, Smart and Functional Textiles presents an opportunity for our county to interact with textile technologies and products as we start the journey of bringing the latest technology home. From TITAS, we hope to see a better and more efficient KICOTEC. We will utilize the lessons from TITAS 2019 to accelerate production of world-class apparels.
“As a country, we export most of our jobs by importing large quantities of clothes and other goods that we can manufacture here in Kenya, even as millions of our youth languish in unemployment. ” Ngilu added
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) presents an opportunity for Kenya to have special access to the US market which sadly remains largely underutilized.
According to a 2017 report by USAID Trade and Investment Hub on textile opportunities, USA imported apparel worth USD. 105 billion in 2016.
Over 80 % of this import came from less than 10 countries led by China and sadly Kenya was not one of them. The whole of Africa has yet to attain the 8% AGOA allocation to the continent.
As a county, Kitui is ready and willing to take advantage of this and other opportunities to ensure that more young people are in employment, generate revenue and create wealth for our people.
Ngilu’s administration is committed to supporting the manufacturing agenda of President’s Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
Kitui’s hummingbird effort shall be through KICOTEC and similar initiatives we are undertaking in the county.