The success of any venture especially in the industrial sector is hinged on the successful conception and implementation of a policy which provides a legal framework that will not only safeguard the overall interest of various stakeholders involved, but also ensure the sustainability of the business in the long term.
This was deliberated during a webinar dubbed: “Isuzu East Africa Limited -Trends and Opportunities in the Automotive Industry,” organized by the African-ai-Japan in collaboration with Isuzu East Africa Limited (Isuzu EA). The webinar was meant to provide a platform for students and staff, especially in engineering to interact with experts in the automotive sector.
The event, hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on Friday September 3, 2021, saw participants taken through the automotive building process, the top ten industrial trends, importance of a strong policy formulation, various engineering competencies, as well as careers students could explore after their studies in the automotive industry.
According to the Isuzu EA General Manager, Mr. James Njoroge, the importance of a strong policy shouldn’t be downplayed as it is the backbone of a thriving industrial sector. He emphasized the need to spur and strengthen the industrial sector, a move that he noted, would speed up the country’s economic growth and prosperity.
“Enacting the national automotive policy which is still in progress will be important in ensuring we curb high costs of manufacturing and spur industrial growth in line with Kenya’s big four Agenda,” the General Manager stated.
Mr. Njoroge underscored the importance of fast tracking policy implementation noting that the absence of a fully operation automotive policy in Kenya continued to have adverse effects on the industry’s growth.
He lauded the Kenyan government for supporting the industrial sector through the enactment of the Standard 1515 regulation enacted through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, that requires reduction of the age of imported trucks between 3.5 and 30 tons to zero years, thus restricting importation of low quality and counterfeit parts which are of low quality.
“This regulation is expected to give a boost to local assemblies in a market space crowded by used imported light to heavy commercial trucks and buses”, Mr. Njoroge asserted.
On job opportunities, the General Manager revealed the significance of exploring viable collaborations with higher institutions of learning in a move that will bridge the gap between academia and industry ensuring a smooth transition of students into the job market.
Speaking during the event, Innovation and Prototyping Integrated Centre (iPIC) Sub-taskforce Chairman, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu thanked the Isuzu EA fraternity for the informative webinar on matters automotive noting that undergraduate and postgraduate students would gain exponentially on trends regarding mobility and transportation.
He was also grateful to Africa-ai- Japan for their continued support, especially to the University, adding, such events are a true testament of their commitment in ensuring skills development and forging meaningful partnerships with crucial partners.
JICA Expert, Africa-ai-Japan project, Dr. Shohei Aoki, appreciated Isuzu EA Company team for sharing invaluable information with the participants on industrial matters saying, the presenters had expounded on the significance of the industrial sector in a country’s economic development and sustainability.
The expert hailed the immense contribution Isuzu EA, has provided to the industry through partnerships with material handling companies, body builders and dealers, which he further noted, would be critical in stimulating industrial growth.
He urged students to ensure they leveraged on such opportunities in order to learn a lot, noting the event would motivate them to venture into self employment through emerging industrial trends like big data and analysis, human interface, among other areas.
Other speakers during the webinar included; Isuzu EA Director, Product Planning, Engineering and Body Building division, Mr. Emmanuel Ogot, and Manager, Product Planning and Product Engineering, Mr. Philip Odhiambo.