Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has announced that the government will ban the importation of shoes from next year in order to promote the local shoe industry in Laikipia County.

Speaking on Monday in Laikipia, Kuria said that the move is in line with President William Ruto's directive to minimize imports.

He added that Laikipia County has the potential to generate more than 6 billion Kenyan shillings annually from the sale of products derived from animal skins and hides.

"In our continued efforts to minimize imports as instructed by His Excellency the President William Ruto, by next year we will ban importation of shoes and instead produce enough for the market in our County Aggregation and Industrial parks(CAIPS)," said Kuria.

He also announced that the President has agreed to ban the importation of shoes in the coming year so that Laikipia residents can be promoted.

"The President has agreed and announced that in the coming year, we will ban the importation of shoes so that Laikipia residents can be promoted. Anyone who does not want to wear Laikipia shoes should walk barefoot," said Kuria.

Kuria also suggested that the government should impose a 50 per cent levy on imported shoes to help residents of Laikipia.

"We have also agreed that shoes which are being imported should have a 50 per cent levy to help residents of Laikipia," said Kuria.

The Cabinet Secretary also said that the government will focus on value addition for produce in the county, such as soya beans, livestock products, maize, and avocados, which will be of great importance to the Laikipia population.

The move to ban shoe imports is expected to boost the local shoe industry and create jobs for residents of Laikipia County.

However, it will also have serious implications for local traders who eke a living from selling imported shoes, especially second-hand items traders commonly known as mitumba.