Message From The Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
Kenya is cited as an ‘economy all-star’ by virtue of being the 3rd out of 20 countries with the highest growth projection for the year 2015 at approximately 6% by Bloomberg news consensus surveys. The country’s goal is to develop into a new industrial hub. Given its unique position regionally and globally, and as the fifth largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya is out to accelerate development of industries that will drive economic growth.
The leather sector has made notable strides. It has for example moved away from exporting raw hides and skins to processed wet blue. Currently, the export value for raw hide and skins is at USD 6.7 Mn, wet blue and crust USD 131 Mn, finished leather at USD 3.5 Mn, and finished leather products at USD 5.6 Mn. Although the leather sector remains a small contributor to Kenya’s economy representing only 0.3% of GDP and 0.7% of formal employment, the goal is to leverage the current momentum and move into more value-added products, further down the leather value chain.
Processing of finished leather for example, will create an additional 35,000 jobs and USD 150-200 million in GDP and contribute to substituting a portion of USD 86 million in shoe imports yearly. Several opportunities exist, including development of tannery capacity to produce quality finished leather, and production of quality finished products locally. Kenya has a comprehensive action plan that will make the sector even more lucrative, hence attracting investors from across the globe.
Kenya is thus positioning itself to attract investment by streamlining policies and legal requirement in the leather industry, to create an enabling business environment. More so, the country boasts of its people being the top talent in Africa, and is constantly improving its infrastructure. Moreover, Kenya is keen on maintaining high quality supply of hides and production of high quality products so as to market them internationally and secure international sourcing contracts. We thus urge investors and development partners to come on board and invest in the sector, hence making Kenya’s Vision of industrial transformation a reality.