Kenyans’ love for imported shoes rises
Six million pairs of shoes were imported in the third quarter of last year, a 17 percent rise.
Kenyan traders, the 2018 Quarterly Balance of Payments(qbop) report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows, sourced their shoes ahead of the December festivities and back-to-school period by paying Sh1.4 billion to foreign shoe companies.
The imports rise negates ongoing campaigns by leather stakeholders to boost one-man cobblers, small and medium enterprises and major shoe factories to raise production to 40 million pairs of shoes required annually.
Leather Apex Society of Kenya secretary-general Beatrice Mwasi called on leather product manufacturers to unite in pushing for a review of leather-related laws to facilitate manufacturing as well as ensure all shoemakers properly mark products based on material used.
“Importers go for resin shoes that are labelled as soft leather. We must stop this to ensure only quality products are sold to customers as well as nurture the local leather industry, which has been crying foul over sale of good looking imported shoes that are sold cheaply compared to their genuine leather shoes that fetch tidy sums in the market,” said Mrs Mwasi.