On August 24, the Hub signed a grant with IL&FS Clusters, an Indian-based small- and medium-sized enterprise development group. The Hub’s leather advisor to the Ministry of Industry and Enterprise Development, Mr. Yassin Awale, will work directly with IL&FS, and in collaboration with the Kenya Leather Development Council and Leather Articles Entrepreneurs Association, to design and implement a training program for SMEs in the leather sector. The program will focus on enhancing the technical expertise of the SMEs to make them more competitive for the export market.
“I strongly believe the leather sector is the heart of Kenya’s development and this grant will play a key role in the development of the sector,” said Kenya Leather Development Council, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Issack Noor.
IL&FS’s role will be tactical to reduce the technical capacity gaps in the sector which hinder the competitiveness of different parts of the value chain. IL&FS will first conduct a skills gap assessment which will involve a review current training offered in the market and stakeholder needs.
"This is for sure a good starting point expected to grow the Kenyan leather value chain,” said Leather Articles Entrepreneurs Association, Chairman Mr. Maurice Atieno
“We expect to assist the local leather chain stakeholders through bringing in best practices and technical expertise from the Indian side of the industry, “said IL&FS Clusters Program Manager, Mr.Vikas Ghanghas.
IL&FS Clusters recently conducted a preliminary assessment of the leather sector in Kenya and identified the following challenges hindering production of high-quality leather: poor animal husbandry practices, including breeding and handling practices; lack of proper grading systems for the raw materials leading to poor quality assurance; poor flaying tools; a lack of trained workers; and, poor business acumen across the value chain. Based on their long-term experience in the leather sector, IL&FS believe that the Hub/IL&FS training program and help SMEs overcome these challenges.