(i) Investor forums/stakeholder workshops
- With support from the International Trade Centre, KLDC organized the first leather investor’s forum in Kenya which brought together international investors and local players in a business to business platform. The event which generated positive fruits attracted 35 investors from countries such as Korea, India, China, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Italy.
- The World Bank through the Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprise Competitiveness Project (MSMECP), KLDC organized for leather stakeholders’ forum which attracted 49 participants from the 47 counties, to provide them with necessary skills for leather and leather goods production. The forum also acted as an avenue to share challenges, success stories and provide a way forward for the sector.
- In order to enhance market development, KLDC in collaboration with the Citizen Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA)’s Kenya Dry Lands Development Programme (KDLDP), has indulged in capacity building of various players in the leather value chain. Areas of focus have included: cultivation of leather goods design concepts to leather goods and footwear producers, training on Environmental Risk Assessment, fostering of viable marketing and branding initiatives among the leather goods producers. The aforementioned areas have often posed challenges to production of products capable of competing successfully in the world market. Inadequate skills amongst the entrepreneurs in the leather sector, has often impacted negatively to attainment of quality standards in the production of leather and leather goods.
- Through CNFA’s volunteer support, KLDC has also been able to lay down a platform that would see into the creation of strategic linkages with like minded institutions as the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC) and the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), in a bid to improve productivity in the livestock value chain. KLDC stands to gain from this initiative since the move is seen as critical to addressing the challenges associated with production of quality hides and skins, a facto, which a among others, is determined by the animal husbandry practices employed at farm level.
- KLDC has formalized a MoU with Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) for development of the SMEs in the leather sector . The Council is also in the process of signing a MoU with Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) for technical support.
(iii) Market Linkages
As one of her functions, the Council has played a leading role in connecting the producer to the consumer. The creation of KLDC has brought about confidence among investors, since it has provided a ‘trusted’ link between local producers and those in the international sphere.
In relation, KLDC has hosted various international investors whose mission has been to either source for raw materials or a market for their leather products. Some of the countries represented include: India, Korea, Hong Kong, USA, Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa, to name but just a few. However, the Country is geared towards value addition, and has as such put in place measures to ensure the same.
These linkages have led to creation of a mutually beneficial relationship between Kenyan players and foreign investors.
(iv) Trade Fairs and exhibitions
KLDC has actively participated in local and international trade fairs to link the producer to the market. Locally, the Council has participated in Mombasa and Nairobi shows and various fairs and exhibitions (such as the Kenya at 50, the Industrial week, the Starthmore Business School SME exhibition) which have provided a platform for the leather and leather goods producers to connect with customers.
Through support by development partners such as the World Bank and COMESA Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA LLPI), the Council has been able to see participation of local SMEs in international forums such as Chennai International Leather Fair (India) and All African Leather Fair (Ethiopia).
Through support from the World Bank, the Council also organized the first Kenyan Leather fair which brought together players in the leather industry. The event was a success.