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rexpresso's avatar

Can you help me find the production cost per pair of essential shoes, in African countries?

Asked by rexpresso (920points) November 4th, 2010

I just need a rough idea for now, about production costs for this type of shoes. The idea is not to resell, it is for a humanitarian project. I’m having a hard time finding info about how this might work in Africa. Any idea helps! Thanks

Rough idea of what would perhaps be interesting:




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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You need to narrow your question down. Africa is not a homogenous large land mass.

Here are the 53 major countries

lillycoyote's avatar

I think I need clarification too. Do you actually want to produce the shoes somewhere on the African continent or is somewhere or multiples somewheres on the African continent where the shoes are suppose to end up? There are so many thing that can factor into how much is cost to produce something like shoes, or anything for that matter. Production cost of anything can vary a great deal depending on where you produce them, how many you produce, what material you intend to use, how many different styles and sizes of shoes you want to produce, all sorts of things.

lillycoyote's avatar

I guess your question does state that you do want to produce the shoes in “Africa.” So @gailcalled points out, Africa is a huge continent with many, many countries, all with different economies and different manufacturing infrastructures, and all sorts of things that would affect the cost of producing shoes. What exactly do you intend to do with the shoes if you do end up producing them? Something you need to consider, I think, is that it may do more harm than good to dump a bunch of free shoes into some local economy and end up putting the people who earn their livings making, distributing and selling shoes out of business.

rexpresso's avatar

Thanks for your replies.

The shoes are to solve the lack of shoes in poor nations, especially African nations as the world’s 20 poorest countries are in Africa according to my research.

About putting people out of business, well, this project will take the best possible care of all the stakeholders, but it might be more important to assure that a schoolgoing population has shoes, than to make sure someone earns a living extorting the caregivers of those same children.

Our project is likely to be parnering with (we’re still in talks) but they have sent me already this email from someone asking for shoes. It’s this type of situation that we want to solve all over the planet. And we seem to have an innovative formula, so to speak. But to put it in the calculations, we need a rough estimate of the cost of this type of shoe. Most obviously, as much as we can help local economies, we want to do so.


—- On Tue, 10/26/10, Tejan S < @yahoo>.com wrote:

From: Tejan S < @yahoo>.com
Subject: I need help for my people.
Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 1:33 PM

My name is Tejan S and I live in Richmond,VA in the US. I recently saw one of your
representatives on a news tv cannes , talking about your organisation. I actually thought of
my childhood, growing up and going to school in a remote town called Rokupr, in the kambia district of the republic of Sierra Leone. I never had shoes and I felt a lot of pain walking for a mile or more to scool under the hot burning sun with bad roads. Only a very few kids had shoes and majority of us walked barefooted. I had saws on my feet from time to time,hitting my feet on rocks accidentally, People are poor, families are large and the parents cannot afford to provide the basic neccessities for their kids.
There was a civil war that lasted for approximately 12 years and the people are just recovering for the devastation caused by the war. It is very difficult for families especially the children. I am now a US citizen and I am helping my family with the little I make but that is just little help and many people need help.
I am hereby asking your organisation to help my people with some shoes, especially
the school going population of town and the surrounding villages.My people and I will apprciate very much if this will meet your king and genorous approval. I am planning ro
visit the town of Rokup in late january 2011 to february 2011. I would be pleased to be part
of the distribution team but if you want to send the schoes before thid time I will contact some people in the town inorder to help you distrbute the shoes. My father and brothers are living in that town and many people that I know.I haven’t been to Rokupr for a very long
time but I have always been in contact with my family and other relatives.
My cell phone number is:___________ and l would be very pleased to answer any questions regarding the request for help for my native land people.
My regards to you and may God bless you.
Sincerely yours
Tejan S

lillycoyote's avatar


About putting people out of business, well, this project will take the best possible care of all the stakeholders, but it might be more important to assure that a schoolgoing population has shoes, than to make sure someone earns a living extorting the caregivers of those same children.

That’s a fine sentiment but I’m sure if it’s going to be possible to assure that your “project will take the best possible care of all the stakeholders” as long as you see some of the stakeholders, people simply trying to make honest living in order to support themselves and their families, people who sell a good shoe at a fair price, as extortionists. In all fairness, you really didn’t give very many details regarding what you intended to accomplish with this project and how you intended to accomplish it. I think I had a valid concern as to how this was to play out.

rexpresso's avatar

@lillycoyote yes you do have valid concerns and I will be most glad to keep you on the loop. I am not wanting by any means to demonize people making and selling shoes. Most importantly I really want to make sure fairness is at the top of priorities. Well, this is a project that has begun about a month ago, we’re a team already… and let me tell you that I’m surrounding myself with humanists, to make sure that the culture of the project really takes the best care of everyone involved, to the maximum possible extent.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve stepped off my soapbox for the time being, @rexpresso, so your safe from my pompous rantings for a while, at least.:-) I wish you the best. It sounds like your doing a very good thing.

lillycoyote's avatar

@rexpresso You’re not safe from my grammatical and spelling errors it seems. Both of those yours in my comment should have been you’res. :-)

BarnacleBill's avatar

Are you working through UNICEF or WHO as well?

rexpresso's avatar

@BarnacleBill sorry what do you mean exactly?

We’re a totally new organization, obviously we’ll be crafting the best synergies, but we’re fully independent.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I realize that you’re a new organization, but there are economies and synergy to be gained by coordination. If there are several groups doing the same thing, it’s more efficient when everyone works under an umbrella organization, so that efforts can be maximized.

The point being, if someone doing the same thing and is having shoes manufactured, the economies of scale would dictate that you use the same vendor, and negotiate a lower price shoe for both groups. Likewise, consolidating shipping costs with other organizations makes sense. Why pay more to do it yourself?

A young friend spent some time in the middle east a few years ago, at a language school. A fellow classmate was shocked to see a man on the streets wearing a blazer from his prep school. As it turns out, there is a huge business in shipping used clothing to third world countries. The half life of polyester from the ‘80’s lives on in the economically disadvantaged countries.

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