Empowering Africa’s Workforce: Optimism Soars as New Employment Opportunities Emerge

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In a promising development for employment opportunities, Hussein Adan Mohamed, the acting CEO of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), has assured that direct employment within the Economic Processing Zones (EPZs) will witness a significant surge this year. This announcement comes in the wake of the establishment of five new EPZs in various counties across Kenya, including Busia, Uasin Gishu, Kirinyaga, Kwale, and Kilifi.

Mohamed expressed his optimism about the increasing number of job opportunities, highlighting the crucial role played by EPZ firms in the country’s economic growth, particularly under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program. Notably, EPZ firms experienced their most robust performance in four years in 2022, signaling their instrumental contribution to the nation’s thriving economy.

The CEO emphasized the remarkable progress made by EPZ firms in terms of export value under the AGOA initiative. The figures soared from Sh48.8 billion in 2021 to an impressive Sh54.1 billion in 2022, underscoring the significant growth and potential of EPZs in bolstering Kenya’s export sector.

The creation of new EPZs in strategic locations is expected to amplify the positive impact on job creation and economic development. By expanding EPZ operations to the aforementioned counties, the government aims to tap into the untapped potential of these regions, fostering local employment opportunities and driving growth at the grassroots level.

EPZs play a crucial role in attracting foreign direct investment, as well as nurturing domestic industries by providing a favorable business environment, streamlined customs procedures, and tax incentives. These zones have proven to be vital drivers of economic progress, facilitating increased trade, and stimulating investment flows into the country.

Furthermore, the growth of EPZs aligns with the government’s broader agenda to accelerate economic diversification and reduce dependence on traditional sectors. By promoting the establishment of EPZs in diverse counties, Kenya is creating a conducive environment for businesses to flourish, unlocking the untapped potential of various regions, and promoting inclusive development.

The upward trajectory of EPZs, as evidenced by the surge in export value, not only showcases their integral role in the country’s economic landscape but also demonstrates the effectiveness of policies such as AGOA in boosting international trade and strengthening Kenya’s global competitiveness.

As the new EPZs begin operations in Busia, Uasin Gishu, Kirinyaga, Kwale, and Kilifi, they are poised to become catalysts for local economic growth, job creation, and skill development. The government’s strategic expansion of EPZs underscores its commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment and harnessing the full potential of Kenya’s diverse regions.

With the assurance of increased direct employment opportunities within EPZs, coupled with the remarkable growth witnessed in the export sector, Kenya is poised to chart a path of sustainable economic development and capitalize on the potential of EPZs to drive future prosperity.


Joseph Omoniyi



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