The government is set to inject capital financing into leather dealers, enabling them to invest in cutting-edge machinery as the State seeks to rivitalise the sector.

The initiative seeks to elevate the production of eight million pairs of shoes to 40 million, positioning Kenya as a major player in the global leather market.

Livestock Principal Secretary, Jonathan Mueke, highlighted the country’s abundant capacity for leather production, which he said has been underutilised.

Kenya boasts the third-largest livestock population in Africa, providing a solid foundation for the expansion of the leather industry.

Mr Mueke revealed that the government is actively working on establishing common user facilities, a measure designed to assist traders in enhancing the quality of leather products, thereby facilitating increased exports and the creation of new jobs.

Kenya’s leather exports are dominated by semi-processed tanned leather at 90 percent, raw hides and skins constitute five percent, and finished leather a mere two percent.

The government’s vision is to shift this paradigm by boosting the production of finished leather and fostering manufacturing growth within the industry.

This move is in line with the broader goal of transforming the sector and catapulting shoe production to an impressive 40 million pairs.

Parallel to the envisioned production surge, the Livestock Principal Secretary highlighted the employment potential inherent in this expansion.

The initiative aims to bolster employment figures from 19,000 jobs to a projected 100,000 by 2027. This surge in employment opportunities is contingent on the industry’s embrace of technology and standardisation, factors the government believes will bring uniformity to the sector.

The involvement of the government in capital financing and infrastructure development signifies a concerted effort to propel Kenya’s leather industry to new heights, creating a ripple effect of economic growth and employment opportunities.