Kenya woos Turkey’s Leather Sector

CS Adan Mohamed: Kenya is in the process of instituting positive measures that will attract investors in the leather sector. (PIX: Courtesy).

The Government is stepping up efforts to revive Kenya’s leather sector, estimated to contribute KES 5.5bn to the country’s GDP when fully exploited.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed is currently in Turkey, to woe industrialists and investors in the sector.

Mr. Mohamed is instituting a raft of measures to kick start the revival process, by creating a conducive environment to attract investors.

Last year, he formed a taskforce to spearhead recovery of the sector in Kenya and recently announced an ambitious plan to establish a KES 17bn leather industrial park located on a 500 acre land in Kinanie, Athi River in Machakos County.

Through the park, Kenya hopes to turn from being exporter of raw materials and semi-processed hides and skins to finished leather goods.

The first phase of the project will establish 15 tanneries, each with a production capacity of 10 tonnes of raw hides and skins per day and upto 10,000 pairs per day each of shoes, hand bags, leather garments and industrial gloves.

“Kenya is offering a world class investment location with the proposed Leather Zone and we encourage global players based in Turkey to invest in Kenya,” he assured the President of Turkey Leather Industries Association, Mr. Erdal Matras.

The investor session was attended by a 30 member strong delegation of investors in tanning, footwear, garments and saddlery from Turkey.

Mr. Mohamed is accompanied on the Trip by the Export Processing Zones Authority officials, Members of Parliament as well as the Kenyan Ambassador to Turkey, Kiema Kilonzo.

Kenya’s leather sector has an annual demand of 28 million units, out of which local suppliers account for 4 million units with the balance of 24 million units coming from imports.