In a significant declaration, President William Ruto has unveiled his intention to impose a ban on shoe imports within the next two years, emphasizing the exclusive promotion of locally manufactured footwear crafted from leather products. The head of state underscored the urgent need for Kenya to capitalize on its potential in animal hide production, fostering the domestic manufacturing of leather goods. This strategic move aims to generate employment opportunities for Kenyan youth while concurrently bolstering the growth of local farmers.
Addressing a gathering in Kajiado on a Sunday, President Ruto expressed his bewilderment at the prevailing practice of importing expensive shoes while local farmers either discard their animal hides or sell them at meager prices. He firmly asserted, “Within the next two years, I will enforce a ban on imported shoes. Instead, we will focus on producing shoes from our own locally sourced cattle hides right here in Kenya.”
President Ruto’s vision aligns with the broader objective of strengthening the domestic leather industry, capitalizing on the nation’s abundant resources and capabilities. By emphasizing the utilization of locally sourced animal hides, the government aims to create a self-sustaining footwear sector that caters to domestic demands and reduces reliance on imports. This strategic shift is expected to stimulate economic growth, empower local farmers, and provide employment opportunities for the vibrant Kenyan youth population.
The president’s resolute stance signals a departure from the status quo and underscores his commitment to transforming Kenya’s economic landscape. By promoting the production of homegrown leather products, the nation can tap into its inherent potential, harnessing the creativity and expertise of local artisans. Moreover, this endeavor seeks to encourage sustainable practices, reducing environmental impact by utilizing indigenous resources.
President Ruto’s bold pronouncement marks a pivotal moment in Kenya’s industrial development and showcases his determination to champion the nation’s economic interests. The subsequent two years will witness a fundamental shift in the footwear market, propelling Kenya towards self-sufficiency and fostering a thriving local leather industry.