Africa
Leather and Leather Products Institute
(ALLPI)

Member of: IULTCS    International Council of Tanners    

Leather for Health, Wealth and Luxury

COMESA/LLPI Championing the Development of Leather Value Chain Comprehensive Strategies in Member Countries

Discussion during the Stockholders Consultation WorkshopCOMESA/LLPI received requests from its Member Countries to support them in the development of comprehensive leather value chain strategies. The main objectives of these missions were to develop a deep understanding of the value chains in these countries and to design road-maps for transforming the value chain into robust, efficient and sustainable systems.

 

 

The expected outcome is that these strategies would enhance the performance of the regional value chain with regard to turnover growth, jobs creation, technology transfer, increased foreign currency generation, revenue to government and benefit a multitude of stakeholders.

It has been observed in the past that strategy formulation processes have been dominated by the Public Sector in many countries; however COMESA/LLPI is convinced that road-maps must be designed with the full participation of all relevant stakeholders. Participatory mechanisms are crucial for multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral settings of collaboration to successfully address the challenges of sustainable development.  It is fundamental to note that COMESA/LLPI compliments the participatory approaches with desk research and factory visits as part of the data generation process. In the next three months COMESA/LLPI would be busy working in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan in facilitating or reviewing the existing strategies.

A participant Reviewing Contributions made by participants about the importance of the leather value chain in Rwanda.

Assessment of the important segments with regard to job creation through a participatory process.

The Case of Rwanda Leather Value Chain

A mission to Rwanda was mounted by two experts Mr. Nicholas Mudungwe and Dr. Tadesse Hailemariam both from COMESA/LLPI. They held one to one meetings with sector players and convened a stakeholders participatory workshop, which was attended by 30 participants, drawn from across Rwanda and also from the various segments of the leather value chain.  Very informative data and qualitative information about the leather value chain was collected, vision, issues and strategic actions plans were identified through a participatory process. See pictures below of site visits to Slaughter houses and hides and skins Exporters and the Participatory Consultation Workshop.

Dr. Tadesse Assessing the quality of hides in Kigali

Dr. Tadesse Assessing the quality of hides in Kigali

Livestock before slaughtering

The Rwanda leather value chain is supported by a livestock base of 1,143,000 cattle, 2,971,000 goats and 829,000 sheep, as per the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture 2011, statistics. The major actors in the production of hides and skins are butchery owners, who contract slaughter slab owners (in district centres) and slaughter houses and abattoir owners (in big towns) to slaughter animals on their own behalf. In most instances the hides and skins are bought by the operators of slaughter facilities, who in turn sell them to middlemen, who in turn sell to exporters of hides and skins. The marketing of hides and skins in Rwanda is not well organized as with the case of other major commodities like tea, coffee and horticulture.

There is a gap in the leather value chain of Rwanda, as there are no operating tanneries. There are two tanneries, which are not operating mainly because of their locations and environmental risks they would pose to their vicinity. However Rwandan Government has already made a giant step by designating land for a heavy industries industrial park, about 150km outside Kigali, in a small town known as Gatsibo. The entire necessary infrastructure would be put in place, which includes a common effluent treatment plant, in line with global trends. Given this gap, Rwanda is currently exporting 100% of all the collected hides and skins, which earned approximately USD16 million dollars in 2013, which translates to approximately 5% of Rwanda’s export earnings. Given the scenario, a multitude of footwear and leather goods manufacturers are currently dependent on imported leather, which is impacting negatively on their competiveness.

The footwear market in Rwanda has been growing rapidly over the years as reflected by the growth in the imports of footwear from US$2.8 in 2006 to US$10.6 in 2012. This reflects that the importation of new shoes have trembled in less than 10 years. If the number of secondhand shoes, being imported into Rwanda are taken into account this figure would just balloon upwards.

The Stakeholders who participated in the two days Consultation Workshop, agreed that the vision of the leather value chain must be geared towards value addition, which is aimed at growing the turnover of the sector six fold in the next ten years.

This was a successful mission and COMESA/LLPI is now collating, analyzing the data and preparing the draft Comprehensive strategic plan, which will then be tabled with the Rwanda Stakeholders before the end of May 2014.

By:

  • Nicholas Mudungwe, Cluster Development Expert at COMESA/LLPI, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Dr. Tadesse Hailemariam, Training, Consultancy and Extension Expert at COMESA/LLPI, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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