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Government to create 70,000 jobs in leather industry, says PS
2018/3/30 15:23:29 Source: net Author: 点击率:
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The government is banking on the leather sector to create 70,000 new jobs by 2022, Industrialisation PS Betty Maina has said.

“It is one of four areas — including agro-processing, textiles and apparels, and oil, mining and gas — expected to be Kenya’s drivers of manufacturing growth.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the sector accounted for only two per cent of formal manufacturing jobs and 1.3 per cent of manufacturing value added in 2013.

The government considers the leather sector as a critical component of the economy by creating 70,000 jobs in Kenya by 2022 and a boost to the economy from the current Sh14 billion to Sh55 billion,” Maina said.

“The training gained through the Kenya Leather Development Programme should set us towards the path of fulfilling these objectives.”

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She spoke early this week in Nairobi during the Kenya Leather Development Programme meeting that was supported by the USAID Hub and the Industrialisation ministry.

The meeting developed a diagnostic study on the skills gap in the leather industry. Currently, the sector employs only 14,000 people during peak season. The informal sector is the bigger employer, accounting for 10,000 of the 14,000 workers.

mitumba competition

The World Bank says although there is a great opportunity for growth, the prevailing structure of the industry is restrictive and wealth is very narrowly distributed among a small number of manufacturers.

“Footwear is the biggest leather goods subsector in Kenya, while the handbag subsector is the most competitive vis-à-vis global markets,” states the Kenya Leather Industry’s Diagnosis, Strategy and Action Plan prepared by the World Bank.

The report says Kenya has an edge because of its abundant natural resources of cattle, goats, and sheep, being the third largest livestock holder in Africa.

The industry’s growth is hindered by the high cost of domestically sold leather and leather inputs, including 25 per cent duty on imported inputs. There is also the high cost of labour and electricity.

The second-hand clothes (mitumba) market offers high and low quality leather and non-leather footwear at bargain prices.

“Meanwhile, Ethiopia is emerging as a new world class player in leather footwear due to its low-cost skilled labour, improvements in the quality of its raw material supply, a stable business climate, and the establishment of new economic zones,” the report says.

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