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Boost for Local Leather Industry as Factory is Handed Over for Automation

Jul 15, 2021
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Several youth in Nairobi are set to get jobs at a leather manufacturing facility in the county.

This follows the handover of the Kariokor Leather Manufacturing Facility to the Kenya Leather Development Council.

The council is expected to spearhead the installation of machines that are set to automate the leather industry in the country.

The automation is expected to help improve the quality of leather products to be churned from the facility.

The leather industry has the potential to generate at least 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

Acting Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu is keen to ensure the youth in the county are fully supported to harness their potential.

Kananu has also identified SMEs as areas of potential growth that need to be supported.

“We have identified the leather industry is our flagship project in catalyzing the manufacturing pillar of President Uhuru’s Big 4 Agenda,” said Kananu.

The Kariokor Leather Manufacturing Facility is one of the flagship projects under Vision 2030.

Nairobi City County executive committee member for commerce, tourism, and cooperatives Winfred Gathagu, who presided over the handover of the facility, said the county has put in place strategies to help realize the county’s dream of helping youth push Kenya into a newly-industrializing, middle-income country providing high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment.

“That way Nairobi will have played its part in contributing towards the economic growth of the country,” Gathagu said.

She noted the upgrading of the leather factory comes at a time when economic growth is urgently needed after the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the country.

“Governor Kananu is keen to take the county to the post-Covid-19 era after most businesses were shut down and people lost jobs. The objective of this project is therefore to support Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) engaged in the production of leather goods with an environmentally friendly premise installed with modern technology and equipment to help them produce standardized goods that are competitive locally, regionally and ultimately globally,” she noted.

The expected impact of the project will be poverty alleviation and wealth creation.

The project was initiated in 2016 by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development (MITED) and Kenya Leather Development Council, a state agency, in collaboration with the Nairobi City County Government’s Commerce, Tourism & Cooperatives Department.

Said Gathangu: “H.E Ann Kananu is fully in support of the realization of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda with regards to manufacturing, the framework established towards achieving the national development blueprint, the Vision 2030.”

The county executive said the Kariokor Common Leather Manufacturing Facility is a pilot project in leather goods production that is expected to be benchmarked by other counties in the country.

“Its success is paramount and H.E Ann Kananu has given her full support and using multi-sectoral approach towards seamless project output,” she noted.

Kenya Leather Development Council CEO Dr. Isaack Noor said the automated leather factory will not only increase SMEs and shoes market but also provide an avenue for job creation especially to the locals.

“We must create jobs for our people, especially during these tough times. Innovation is everything in this 21st century,” he said.

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