By Regina Manyara
The government is banking on reduced importation of second hand clothes to create employment opportunities in the country.
Investment and industry Principal Secretary Mwangi Nduati says the Export Quality Super Sale extended to other parts of the country is expected to promote the Buy Kenya Build Kenya philosophy as well as boost sales for local manufacturers.
In March this year, Kenya held the first ever Export Quality Super Sale at the KICC, attracting hundreds of Kenyans who were keen on getting their hands on the low priced clothes. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the clothes sold at the Super Sale were all manufactured at the Athi River EPZ.
Following successful Nairobi event, President Kenyatta declared that the Super Sale would be taken to other towns. The second location was in Mombasa County where the sale was held over the weekend.
Nduati says the government aims at reducing the importation of second hand clothes, commonly known as ‘Mitumba,’ to create employment opportunities for locals.
Local textile industry players have however requested the government to make the Export Quality Super Sale a quarterly event to boost the growth of the local industry as well as give Kenyans an opportunity to buy new locally manufactured garments.
Kenya has been on the forefront in developing policies that would ban the importation of ‘Mitumba’ in the East Africa Community with President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterating government’s intent to execute the ban to support the local textile and apparel industry.
As EAC Member States await to give a decision on the matter, local traders have been urging the government to be lenient on any such policies as many families depend on the ‘Mitumba’ business for their livelihoods.