Friday, June 01, 2007

African Path Interview Illustrates Kenya's Competitive Advantage

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to read this interview, I highly recommend that you do it. The interview is between Joshua Wanyama, Editor of African Path and Keith Steel, owner of apparel maker Sandstorm Kenya.

What I enjoyed about the interview is that it may have pointed out where Kenya’s competitive advantage lies amongst her global competitors.
Here is an excerpt:

“…Around 95% of all bag and accessories manufacturing comes from China,” Keith says. “We are proud of the fact that everything that goes into our bags are from Kenya. We support Kenya, the Kenyan heritage and its people. The whole operation in Kenya is run and operated by Simon Mwangi, our very strong and able manager. All our employees are Kenyans. This is a commitment that we will continually uphold as we grow Sandstorm.”

“Sandstorm in no ordinary Kenyan company and neither is its owner Keith Steel. The rich heritage that the company embodies is a direct reflection of Keith. While Sandstorm is a relatively young company, Keith has managed to create a mature brand that conjures a romantic image of Africa. That of Indiana Jones battling through tough terrain while on safari seeking to conquer new lands. Wading through rivers in the jungle or crawling through the African bush. Keith says, “We are a safari-lifestyle brand and people expect the highest quality on our products. This shouldn’t be confused with luxury. Our customers are those with active lifestyles seeking lasting quality. They love the outdoors, care for the environment and appreciate authentic products.”

Keith has a great love of Africa since his childhood in Kenya. He loves nature and the abundant wildlife in Africa. His love has extended to nature conservation. Sandstorm has developed a relationship with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy located on the Laikipia Plains in Northern Kenya. The conservancy aims to conserve wildlife, educate people, work with local and international governments and change people’s attitudes towards development. Sandstorm donates a portion of every bag sold to Lewa…”

Read the rest here and get Benin Mwangi's take on how this illustrates Kenya's and possibly the rest of Africa's competitive advantage.

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1 Comment:

Villager said...

I had not heard of this particular entrepreneur nor his company. Thank you for pointing both out to your readers today.

peace,
Villager

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