The Kenyan government has pledged to revive its textile and leather sectors, and to improve efficiency in manufacturing companies in order to boost trade in the country.
Last week, Kenya’s Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich proposed an allocation of 3 billion Kenyan shilling ($34 million) to upgrade the sectors, and Industrialization Secretary Adan Mohamed said the government is working to lower the costs of locally produced goods that compete with imported goods, according to the Daily Nation.
“To bring down the cost of production, we are looking to lower the cost of power, improving the quality of roads to ensure market accessibility and improving value addition of raw products,” Mohamed told the Daily Nation.
The Bata Shoe factory in Limuru, Kenya employs 3,000 workers and produces 30 million shoes annually, the Daily Nation reported, and these products, according to Mohamed, could be doubled in order to take advantage of the East African Community shoe markets.
Demand for leather in Kenya is a high 28 million units annually, but Mohamed said since production is heavily reliant on imported supplies, the current local supply is less than 4 million units annually.
Mohamed said, “Kenya has ideal production zones for quality leather. With the global leather demand now estimated at more than Sh5.2 trillion ($ 60 Billion), we must work hard to grab a share of the cake,” according to the Daily Nation.
Because of the often grass-roots level production, more than 85 percent of raw skins are wasted as a result of poor handling during slaughter, Mohamed noted.
Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization intends to work with the country’s county governments to aid them in establishing modern slaughterhouses and regional tanneries to foster industrial growth and job creation.