The Ministry of industrialization has kicked off discussions with the disciplined forces in a bid to advocate they buy their boots from local manufacturers.
Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed says this will in a great way boost the leather sector which has been low due to a lot of importation of leather products.
He says his ministry will from next week start analysing the required specification of the boots from the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Police Service which will later be given to a number of manufacturers.
“The first thing that we want to do is to encourage the leather processing in the country and more importantly, we must create the market both locally and internationally,” Mohamed said.
The CS was speaking on Wednesday after a meeting with the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and about 10 local shoe manufactures at his office.
He said the government plans to engage the manufacturers more to ensure that once the deal is signed, they will be able to make the required boots and provide enough supply throughout the year.
“If you are asking when we are starting this, the train has left the station already. The Cabinet Secretary for Interior was here, the Ministry of Defence representative is here and they have made a commitment and the manufacturers will now have to adjust and fulfil the required specifications. It’s a big win if we do that,” Mohamed said.
If the shoe deal succeeds, Mohamed said they will later go to the manufacturing of uniforms and other items that can be produced locally.
The leathers sector, he mentioned, has a potential of generating $10billion into Kenya’s economy but this has not been so due to high importation.
This has led to local manufactures exporting semi raw leather products due to lack of local market.
At the moment the Military alone imports over 30,000 pairs of leather boots every year from outside countries.
The ministry says it has started with the discipline forces and will soon start engaging other government agencies to ensure that they procure locally made products.
“I don’t understand for example why a table like this here was imported from China yet they are displayed all over our roads. We want to build our own industries, pay taxes and create jobs,” the CS emphasised.