Employees work on the manufacturing line at the United Aryan Export Processing Zone textile factory in Nairobi
Nairobi – Kenya has started offering tax incentives to clothing companies, a key part of its under-performing manufacturing sector, to create jobs and provide affordable new clothes for shoppers.

Executives in the textiles industry said the changes included allowing them to sell 20 percent of their annual production locally without sales taxes and without paying import duties on the materials and equipment used to produce the garments.

The advent of cheap, second-hand clothes imports from the US and Europe, locally known as mitumba, in the 1980s, put local apparel firms out of business and killed production of raw materials like cotton.

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Mwangi Kiunjuri, planning minister, said it was dealing with some difficulties by implementing new policies to encourage firms to boost production and hire more people.