COMESA has launched a garment making project in Kisumu, Kenya targeting 430 small and medium enterprises at a cost of USD200, 000.
Assistant Secretary General in Charge of Programmes Dr Kipyego Cheluget said the project based at the Kisumu National Polytechnic Institute will help grow the garment industry and is expected to have a positive impact on the community in that County.
He said the introduction of clusters to incubate entrepreneurs would give SMEs a chance to competitively prove themselves across East Africa.
â€œThis project will provide the youths with skills that will make them self-reliant through self-employment. I urge you to use this opportunity to sharpen your skills, train more people and create jobs. Also focus on registering your businesses,â€ Ambassador Cheluget added.
Kisumu National Polytechnic received funding from the Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF) for the formation of a Garment Making Cluster and establishment of a textile and garment incubation centre in Kisumu as part of Implementation of the COMESA Cluster Initiative Programme. The TCF is a facility funded by the European Union and managed by the COMESA Secretariat to provide member States with the necessary technical and financial resources to assist them in implementation the commitments made under the COMESA regional integration agenda.
The main aim is to strengthen the process of regional integration in COMESA and to enhance the regionâ€™s trade competitiveness globally, and promote trade within the region and with the EU. A number of activities have been achieved with this funding, including management training skills of SMEs in garment making, marketing memberâ€™s products through exhibitions and networking, improving quality of memberâ€™s products and procurement of state of the art modern equipment with the aim of establishing an incubation centre in the country.
Bando Technical Training Instituteâ€™s Deputy Principal Agripa Oluch, who is the brainchild of the initiative, said they aim at creating up to 20, 000 job opportunities through the project.
He said the polytechnic now has machines for all garment making processes that include cutting materials, Sewing, button making among others.