Investors to create 250,000 leather industry jobs in 2021


At least 250,000 jobs will be created starting in the year 2021 as investors pledge to inject Sh100 billion into the leather industry.

An initiative dubbed the Kenya Leather Industry Diagnosis Strategy and Action Plan states that the demand for leather has risen globally in recent years and is expected to continue going forward.

In a forum that brought together government officials, investors from the leather industry, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) representatives and CEOs of different companies among others, investors said that the leather industry is one of the areas with untapped opportunities.

“We have been in the leather industry for more than 30 years and we understand what it takes, we want to take a stake of 30 per cent of the sector in the next five years and produce to kenyans and the world quality leather products,” said Sambasiva Rao the Managing Director for Alpharama Limited.

Currently, the leather industry has been contributing 0.3 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 0.7 per cent of formal employment, which Aden Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives said is minimal.

“We have got a big opportunity as kenyans in the leather sector, currently Kenya does $ 140 million (Sh14.2 billion) which is less than a quarter of Africa’s demand, we want to get a pie of the 100 billion USD (Sh 10.1 trillion) size of opportunities that is out there globally,” said Mohammed.

He was speaking at a Nairobi hotel during an investors’ briefing on Kenya’s first Leather Park at Kinanie in Machakos County.

The development, dubbed Kenya Leather Park (KLP), will be located on a 500-acre site with the aim of encouraging value addition and innovation towards unlocking economic potential of the Leather sector in Kenya.

Mohammed also promised investors that the government has put policies in place that will move the country out of the 10 per cent shortfall and start exporting processed leather in the coming 2 to 3 years.

“We want our leather to be fully processed so that we can reap more, when we sell semi-processed products they come back full processed and expensive,” added Mohammed.

The stakeholders termed lack of facilities in the sector as the main challenge but the government promised to improve the areas and lower the cost of energy

“We have made progress in lowering the cost of energy to make the sector competitive globally,” said Julius Korir the Principal Secretary ministry of Trade and Cooperatives.

The chairman Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) Titus Ibui said that he council is creating a databank for investors so that all the information required for investors will be available.

“We are creating databank for investors to be completed before the end of the year to help them with all their requirements, our work is to facilitate and we will facilitate as soon as you are available,” said Ibui.

The Chief Executive Officer KLDC Isaack Noor added that public private partnership is the way to go. “The government has identified massive opportunities for employment and the leather industry has been given a priority, let us make the sector a regional hub for leather products,” added Noor.
























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