Although Kenya is the most industrially developed country in the African Great Lakes region, manufacturing still accounts for only 14% of the GDP. Industrial activity, concentrated around the three largest urban centres, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, is dominated by food-processing industries such as grain milling, beer production, and sugarcane crushing, and the fabrication of consumer goods, e.g., vehicles from kits.

There is a cement production industry. Kenya has an oil refinery that processes imported crude petroleum into petroleum products, mainly for the domestic market. In addition, a substantial and expanding informal sector commonly referred to as Jua Kali engages in small-scale manufacturing of household goods, auto parts, and farm implements.

Kenya’s inclusion among the beneficiaries of the US Government’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has given a boost to manufacturing in recent years. Since AGOA took effect in 2000, Kenya’s clothing sales to the United States increased from US$44 million to US$270 million (2006). Other initiatives to strengthen manufacturing have been the new government’s favourable tax measures, including the removal of duty on capital equipment and other raw materials.