Leather city to create 50,000 direct jobs
23 March 2016, 14:53
Nairobi - Industry, Investment and Trade, Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed says Kenya’s first leather city will create 50,000 direct jobs for Kenyans. The CS said that once in operation, the total value of finished leather products for export are also expected to increase 12 times.
He spoke Tuesday when made a tour of the Leather City in Kinanie, Machakos County to oversee the ongoing progress of the first leather industrial park in Kenya. In 2013, the value of export of leather footwear from the country amounted to US$2.8 million (KES 208 million).
The KES 17 billion, 500-acre Park once completed, will propel the current Kenyan leather industry from a mere exporter of raw materials and semi-processed hides and skins to a major player in finished leather goods.
“Leather city will grow our leather industry, increase our competitiveness in leather and leather products, grow our exports and create tens of thousands of new jobs,” CS Adan said, adding that this will create a viable and sustainable industry to propel the country toward inclusive prosperity.
He said the Industrial Park will improve the country’s global competitiveness in leather production and drive the economy in line with the 5-10 year industrial plan for the country’s manufacturing sector to accelerate critical industries that support the country’s development.
The construction of the industrial leather park is meant to address the current trade deficit in the leather sector and increase the national capacity for leather production and exports by an estimated KES 15-20 billion ($150-200 million). The instant gains from this would be increased national Gross Domestic Product and massive creation of jobs.
The center located in Athi River will have 15 tanneries initially, a training centre, common manufacturing facilities and a common Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). These will translate to a production capacity of about 10 tonnes of hides and skins with an output of 10,000 pairs of shoes, handbags, leather garments and industrial gloves per day.
The Government envisions the leather industrial sector playing a crucial role in the development of the economy. On the leather processing side, it intends to facilitate investors to move away from processing the wet blue into finished leather, and leather product for export.
Kenya’s leather sector is composed of suppliers of raw hides and skins, abattoirs, traders, tanneries, and producers of leather products in varying sizes. Broadly, the sector is divided into the formal and informal sector. Presently, the total employment in the leather industry is estimated to be around 14,000 during peak times.
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