Kimberly-Clark invests US$45m to manufacture Huggies Diapers in Kenya

KENYA – International Diaper Manufacturer, Kimberly-Clark, has signed an KSh5 billion (US$45m) contract deal to kick-start the production of Huggies diapers in a newly established factory in Thika.

The firm entered an agreement with a local manufacturer, Sai Pharmaceuticals, to begin manufacturing and distribution of the diapers in the Kenyan market, in a move meant to invest in home-grown solutions

Speaking during the announcement of the agreement, Kimberly Clark Business Development Director Middle East and Africa, Kevin Achieng elaborated that the move to manufacture the brand locally was aimed at providing high quality and affordable products for residents in Kenya.

“There are one million babies born in Kenya every year and 8 million born annually in East Africa; that is a sizable number which reflects the growing need for high quality affordable hygiene products in Africa,” Achieng said.

On his part Rajiv Joshi, Sai Pharmaceuticals Hygiene Division Chief Executive Officer, commented that the partnership would enable Kenya to be among African countries, such as South Africa and Nigeria, who indulge in contract manufacturing that helps reduce production costs.

“Covid-19’s negative impact on global supply chains accelerated our decision to invest in home-grown solutions that would secure a continuous flow of high-quality hygiene products such as diapers for Africa’s markets,” Joshi added.

Cabinet Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, David Osiany who was also present reiterated that the partnership would be beneficial to the country in creating jobs as well as enhancing skills transfer in the manufacture of high-quality hygiene products.

“Such investments take us closer to our goal of elevating the manufacturing sector to contribute 15 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from the current 9 percent; which is part of the Government’s Big Four Agenda,” Osiany said.

The government of Kenya is advocating for contract manufacturing to skirt around the challenges of the global supply chain, which worsened during the pandemic. David Osiany said manufacturers ought to learn from the lessons taught by Covid-19.

Osiany said contract manufacturing will ensure flagship companies get their profits as well as provide jobs for the locals.

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