Kenya Association of Manufacturers: 60 years of adding value to the Automotive Industry

KAM provides an essential link for co-operation, dialogue and understanding with the Government by representing the views and concerns of its members to the relevant authorities

Established in 1959 as a private sector body, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is the representative organisation for manufacturing value-add industries in Kenya. KAM provides an essential link for co-operation, dialogue and understanding with the Government by representing the views and concerns of its members to the relevant authorities.

Mandate, vision and mission 

In pursuit of its core mandate of policy advocacy, KAM promotes trade and investment, upholds standards, encourages the formulation, enactment and administration of sound policies that facilitate a competitive business environment and reduce the cost of doing business.

Their mission is to promote competitive and sustainable local manufacturing.

Their vision is to be a World-class Business Membership Organization (BMO) that effectively delivers services to its members.

Respect from members and Government 

Through fact-based policy advocacy, KAM has evolved into a dynamic, vibrant, credible and respected business association that unites industrialists and offers a common voice for businesses. 

Service delivery to members 

  • The Association advocates for a conducive business environment for its members. They articulate to government and other stakeholders issues such as high cost of doing business, predictable policies and regulations and budgetary proposals and amendments.
  • KAM continues to advocate for the review of the current payment period to a shorter time and the establishment of a legal framework to curb the culture of late payment.
  • They are keen on uplifting Micro, Small and Medium businesses in value addition through our Manufacturing SME
  • KAM offers subsidized energy services and provides technical advice on matters energy to members.
  • The Association also provides relevant trainings, seminars and workshops through Their Manufacturing Academy and SME Business Growth Services. 

Environmental considerations 

  • KAM continues to run anti-littering and awareness campaigns. The campaigns will help people understand how to recycle and upcycle plastic bottles, and where to recycle. They will also encourage people to reuse and re-purpose plastic bottles as many times as possible, rather than being used once and then thrown away.
  • Through extended producer responsibility and take-back schemes, they have created a comprehensive recycling system and structure that involves consumers, garbage collectors and recyclers and eventually manufacturers in a recycling value chain, guided by circular economy principles.
  • They believe that beyond ensuring a clean environment, they can harness plastic bottles to supporting manufacturing sector, particularly for industrial use. With the recent set up of PETCO, they are confident that the recycling will flourish as the industry matures and the public learns how to recycle properly.
  • To scale the campaign, they have signed a Framework of Cooperation with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Ministry of Environment and Forestry. They will also enter into strategic partnerships with county governments countrywide to help develop more effective recycling systems that meet each community’s unique needs. They aim to make recycling easier and more accessible for everyone.
  • Importantly, they will be working with all stakeholders to help achieve policy changes that support a truly circular economy and a more holistic view of material use, collection, and reuse. 
  • The initiation of innovative eco-friendly strategies and comprehensive recycling schemes will create new avenues of employment for waste collectors and recyclers. They believe that when properly planned and guided, the informal sector such as the one that has created businesses in Dandora can become a sustainable model for other East African nations. Roping in the sector by providing tools and training modules for waste collectors will not only aid in job creation but will also promote responsible and sustainable management of waste trickling down to the consumer level.
  • Recycling represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits. In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way they dispose of them that’s the problem. 
  • KAM’s Kenya Plastics Action Plan set to be launched provides an opportunity for the private sector to establish a collective position and propose solutions on plastic pollution. It is an essential strategic avenue that if fully implemented would significantly build Kenya’s plastics recycling sector.
  • KAM in partnership with Nordic Countries also launched a Green Hub to address climate change challenges affecting the country. The Nordic Countries, mainly Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, will provide technological knowledge and innovations to facilitate a low dependency on carbon-based fuels and demonstrate decoupling economic growth from CO2 emissions. The Green Hub seeks to boost to the Association’s efforts to mitigate energy efficiency by industry. Through the Center for Energy Efficiency and Conservation, KAM has been able to abate more than 180,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually through the implementation of both energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 
  • Clean Energy Conference: KAM and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum host an annual Clean Energy Conference. This year’s conference, held in April, was themed ‘Sustaining a clean energy market in Kenya’. The Conference provides an opportunity for industry and its stakeholders to discuss initiatives to promote green investments, and mechanisms to improve  the quality of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, to ultimately reduce the cost of production and increase their competitiveness.

Driving industrial growth of manufacturing sector to GDP

Since the establishment of KAM in 1959, KAM has evolved into a dynamic, vibrant, credible and respected business association that unites industrialists and offers a common voice for businesses.

For these 60 years, KAM has continued to engage the government to promote  the competitiveness of industry and seek new market opportunities. Such initiatives include;

  • Advocating, on behalf of their members, for a conducive business environment. They articulate to the Government and other stakeholders, on the cost of doing business (energy, taxation, illicit trade, counterfeits), Predictable policies and regulations and Budgetary proposals and amendments
  • Providing trade information on Local, Regional, and Global markets. These include East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), South African Development Community (SADC), African Caribbean Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU), African Continental Free Trade Area, Tripartite Free Trade Area and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Facilitating Exports under Duty Remission Scheme as well as Africa’s Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA)
  • Facilitating the licensing and permits at the National and County levels
  • Promoting Energy and Water efficiency through Energy and water audits, Energy audit trainings and green financing
  • Intervention and engagement of county governments
  • Providing relevant Training, Seminars and Workshops through our Manufacturing Academy and SME & Business growth services
  • Assistance on monitoring and evaluating progress on Global Compact commitments.
  • Access to regulatory and compliance requisites to set up your business

Supporting skills-based job creation agenda and increase manufacturing sector jobs

Industry remains a big contributor to job creation, which is a major driver for economic development and realization of Kenya Vision 2030 and the Government’s Big 4 Agenda.

For this to be a reality, there is an increasing and significant demand for skilled workers in industries in Kenya and also a demand for improved quality of goods and services that meet both local and International standards.

KAM TVET program is aimed at improving access to jobs and economic opportunities for youth in Kenya. This is in line with the strategic pillar of the KAM Business Development Plan (2017-2019) which supports skills-based job creation agenda and increased manufacturing sector jobs.

Through the Manufacturing Priority Agenda 2019, the Association propagates for the development and implementation of industry-led skills policies, to be drawn proactively in conjunction with training institutions, since the future prosperity of the manufacturing sector will depend ultimately on the number of persons in employment and how productive they are.

Skills development stimulates creation of sustainable development process and can make a contribution to transition from the informal to the formal economy. Further, skills are essential to address the opportunities and challenges to meet new demands of changing economies and new technologies in the context of globalization.

 Contribution to the well-being of society

In partnership with Dandora Hiphop City (DHC), KAM launched the Customer Bora – Taka Banks Programme to facilitate sustainable collection of waste for recycling by establishing trial “taka bank” kiosks to serve as collection stations. The online platform dubbed Customer Bora facilitates correspondence between groups in order to encourage uptake and flow of all communication about the program.

  • KAM also engaged representatives from the government, private sector and youth during the High-Level Panel on Waste Management and Circular Economy and Youth Sustainability Conference in September 2019.

The Youth were urged to take advantage of waste management solutions as the new frontier of job and wealth creation and sustainable economic growth.

The Panel was part of KAM Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Week 2019 which focused on waste management and entrepreneurial innovations that foster sustainability. It drew stakeholders from government, academia, industry and development partners.

 Recruiting and retaining membership base

Membership at KAM is structured in two categories:

●       Ordinary Membership which is extended to companies that are directly involved in processing, manufacturing or any other value addition activities.

●       Associate/Consultancy Membership which is extended to firms which have direct interest in the expansion of industries, either through the provision of services or other inputs.

For one to join them as a Member, fill in an application form (available on our website) and send it back to them with the appropriate payment, based on annual turnover as indicated within the form. Attach your certificate of incorporation, PIN certificate and audited statements of accounts and submit it to them.

They retain their Members by offering services to them.

To become a Member, contact them on

Achievements over the last 60 years

Since the establishment of KAM in 1959, KAM has evolved into a dynamic, vibrant, credible and respected business association that unites industrialists and offers a common voice for businesses.

Additional achievements include:

  • The Association’s human resource has grown from 4 Professional Staff to 70 staff members, building the Association’s capacity for fact based advocacy.
  • They’ve also built a sustainable organisation through the membership growth and their very own building opened on 9th December 2014.
  • They have expanded their regional presence. This has played a key role in enhancing their advocacy work at the county levels
  • Through their advocacy, they have seen business grow and expand. Some of the advocacy issues include
    • Buy Kenya Build Kenya
    • Fight against illicit trade
    • Access to affordable and reliable energy
    • Infrastructural development such as roads and water


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