ERP Firm SYSPRO Cites Severe Lack of Expert Manufacturing Skills in Kenya in New Report

Mark Wilson - MD SYSPRO Africa
Mark Wilson - MD SYSPRO Africa

Mark Wilson - MD SYSPRO Africa

Less than two years ago, SYSPRO, a technology organization that specializes in software development and the provision of integrated business software for manufacturing firms, distribution, and accounting, among other sectors, set up a shop in the Kenyan market. The base was stationed to serve the East African region, including Rwanda and Ethiopia. At the time of launch, SYSPRO said it was serving approximately 15K enterprises in over 60 countries across the world.

Today, the company launched a report that examines the implementation of technological aids and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in the manufacturing industry in Kenya. The report was put together with help from Strathmore University. It explores the state of the manufacturing sector as one of the pillars of the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030 – which are two programs that are poised to catapult the country into a mid-earning state in the next decade.

During the presentation of the report that was announced by Strathmore University’s Professor Ismail Ateya, it emerged that the industry has been lagging behind, primarily due to lack of access to an efficient labour force and inadequate infrastructure. However, this could change if manufacturing industries pursue the implementation of ICTs and concentrate on stock and flow of skills. The government appears to have aligned its projections to these goals, having set aside a healthy share of the recently read budget for the ICT industry.

The local manufacturing sector, which mainly produces foods and beverages, energy, electrical and electronics as well as textiles and apparel accounted for 9.2 percent of the GDP, 26 percent of merchandise exports and 12 percent of overall formal employment in 2016. SYSPRO projects that manufacturing will contribute up to 15 percent of the GDP by 2022, a feat, if achieved, could create more jobs for locals. Just for context, the 4th industrial revolution should see the loss of 75 million jobs by 2025. However, the development will create 130 million jobs across the globe.

During the event, SYSPRO Managing Director, Africa Mr. Mark Wilson highlighted the role of educators as shapers for future leaders. This crop of new leaders should shake the manufacturing sector, which, unfortunately, needs a lot of work in terms of adopting new technologies such as automation. For instance, only 11 percent of the manufacturing sector is fully automated in Kenya. 83 percent of the space is semi-automated.

Resources that are needed by ERP can only come from education facilities or any other good university in the marketplace. Kenya has a huge shortage of experts in artificial intelligence, IoT and data scientists.

Mark Wilson – MD SYSPRO Africa

We will dive into the details of the report in the next post.

In the meantime, you can also follow the commentary from the announcement using the Twitter link below.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]