Kenyans’ love for im­ported shoes rises

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - BUSINESS - BY JAMES KARIUKI

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.

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