Kariokor market is renowned for its unique African jewellery, curios, decor items, leather goods and fabrics. The market has over 200 stalls where one can purchase various items at wholesale or retail prices both for local and international consumption. Unknown to many, most of the wares sold in other curio markets (a significant pull to foreigners and locals) emanates from the cluster.
The open-air market also houses local textile and garment industries which are crucial in industrialization and nation branding and are Kenya’s second-largest manufacturing industry after food processing. Many Kenyans and international companies are sourcing locally made apparel as the sector rebounds after many years of decline.
Kariokor market also has a leather cluster, which is the biggest producer of leather products by MSMEs in the Country and Eastern Africa.
The market has been undergoing a facelift after the Nairobi government signed a deal with the Kenya Leather Development Council. Before the renovation, the old Kariokor market accommodated 1,000 traders, but the new market is expected to house at least 10,000 workers in three years. The revamped market will be installed with the latest technological equipment expected to aid in the manufacture of quality shoes and other leather products.
MSEA has registered several MSEs from this cluster, including Syondo Women Juakali Association, which has over 1000 women businesses dealing in bags, curios, and other items made using locally sourced materials.
The directive on ‘made in Kenya’ attires for Government officials and local content procurement is another welcome boost for this sector.
Here are some of the MSEs and their products at the site