President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, April 8 presided over the official opening of the Small Arms Factory in Ruiru, Kiambu County.
Speaking during the official opening of the facility, President Uhuru said that through the local production of weaponry, Kenya seeks to enhance self-reliance, domestic innovation, and strengthening of local manufacturing capabilities, while offering decent jobs for her youth.
Uhuru said that the arms factory, which is part of the National Security Industries Network, is in line with the Manufacturing Pillar of the Big Four Agenda, as well as the Kenya Vision 2030.
“This groundbreaking initiative will allow us to lay the foundation for addressing the high cost of weapons acquisition, free us from the complex foreign export approval processes currently in place, provide Kenya with greater security sector independence and flexibility, and allow Kenya to design and produce high-quality weapons, customized to our unique needs and operating environments,” said Uhuru.
The new factory was developed at a cost of KSh4 billion and has an annual single-shift manufacturing capacity of 12,000 assault rifles with 60% of components being locally manufactured.
This latest move will enable Kenya tap into the lucrative arms business. It will also enable the state to knows where the weapons are, after suffering in the hands of illegal firearms for a while.