Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has declared that Kenya will cease shoe imports from next year, claiming that the country will achieve self-sufficiency to fulfill domestic footwear needs.
Speaking when he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of an industrial park in Rumuruti, Kuria announced the government’s plans to establish a leather factory in Laikipia County.
CS Kuria said President Ruto’s administration is planning to prohibit shoe imports and, instead, establish a domestic shoe production industry in the country.
“Kuanzia mwaka ujao hakuna kuimport tena viatu kutoka nje… viatu itakuwa inatoka hapa Laikipia na yule hataki kuvaa kiatu ya Laikipia sii atembee bila viatu basi,” said Kuria.
Loosely translated: (Starting from next year, there will be no more importing of shoes from abroad… shoes will be produced right here in Laikipia, and anyone who doesn’t want to wear Laikipia shoes can walk barefoot)
According to the Trade minister, livestock in Laikipia alone have the potential to produce a sufficient quantity of shoes for export.
“Mnyama mmoja, viatu 20, 60k animals will give us 1.2million pairs of shoes every month,” he said.
(One animal, 20 shoes. Sixty thousand animals will give us 1.2 million pairs of shoes every month)
CS Kuria also mentioned that his office would advocate for the implementation of a 50% tax on all imported shoes as a means to encourage local production.
“Laikipia county will be able to generate more than 6 Billion annually from the sale of products derived from animal skins and hides,” Kuria said.
Adding: “Value addition for the produce in the county from Soya beans, to Livestock products,to maize and avocado among others will be of great importance to the Laikipia population.”