COMESA
Leather and Leather Products Institute
(COMESA/LLPI)

Member of: IULTCS    International Council of Tanners

Leather for Health, Wealth and Luxury

Courtesy Visit of the COMESA/LLPI Board of Directors to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of the Republic of Uganda

Partial View of LLPI's Visit to Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of Uganda
Partial View of LLPI's Visit to Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of Uganda
Partial View of LLPI's Visit to Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of Uganda
Partial View of LLPI's Visit to Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of Uganda

COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA/LLPI) Delegation composed of the Institute’s  Board of Directors (Mrs. Annoncée Kuradusenge - Board Chairperson from Rwanda, Mr. Wondu Legesse and Mr. Abdul Hakiim Sekandi - Board Members respectively from Ethiopia and Uganda), Executive Director- Prof. Mwinyihija Mwinyikione, and Institutional Capacity Development and Consultancy Expert Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives of the Republic of Uganda on the 18th July, 2017.

During the Courtesy visit, Prof. Mwinyihija expressed his deep gratitude to the Hon. Ms. Amelia Anne Kyambadde, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperative, of the Republic of Uganda, for receiving the delegation despite the busy schedule the Honorable Minister has. He then introduced members of the delegation after which the Board Chairperson briefed the Honorable Minster on the 32nd meeting of the Board and the COMESA/LLPI’s focus areas of activities and achievements in the leather sector in member States. Board members also briefed the Honorable Minster on their respective countries’ leather sector development activities.

The Honorable Minister, after thanking COMESA/LLPI for its remarkable activities for the development of the leather sector in COMESA region in general and in Uganda in particular, shared insights about the second-hand footwear and leather goods importation ban to be instituted in East African Community partner states starting from 2019, and capacity building and finance related challenges to unlock the potential of the leather sector.

The COMESA/LLPI 32nd Board of Directors Meeting Held

32nd Board of Director's Meeting of COMESA/LLPI
32nd Board of Director's Meeting of COMESA/LLPI
32nd Board of Director's Meeting of COMESA/LLPI
32nd Board of Director's Meeting of COMESA/LLPI

The Thirty Second Meeting of the COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute’s Board of Directors was held in Kampala, Uganda at Hotel Africana on 17th – 18th July 2017. The Meeting was attended by the Board Members from Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. An apology was presented from Mr. Clement Phangaphanga (Malawi), who felt sick the night before his scheduled travel day. The Board Members expressed their best wishes and prayers for his quick recovery.

The Board examined the Institute’s January to June 2017 budget performance and work activities report as well as the 2018 proposed budget and work plan. The Board took cognizance of the progress that LLPI has achieved against its set annual targets that are informed by its strategic plan (2016 – 2025) and Annual Plan for 2017.

The Board also provided necessary Recommendations and Decisions for the Institute’s and Board’s consideration and guidance for the remaining period of the current year 2017 and approved the 2018 proposed Budget and work plan, for it to be considered by the relevant committee and endorsement by the Council of Ministers.

The Board registered it's appreciation and satisfaction for an excellent performance irrespective of its meagre resource. These were proud to be associated with the success registered and agreed that the milestones gained will translate to tangible beneficiation to Member States in the Region and ultimately realization of AUC Agenda 2063 pillar on industrialization.

COMESA/LLPI at the 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair

COMESA/LLPI at 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair
COMESA/LLPI at 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair

As part of its Strategic objective of promoting the leather value chain in the COMESA Region, LLPI participated in the 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair which was held during 28th June – 4th July 2017 in Ndola, Zambia.

LLPI also sponsored six export oriented SMEs from the leather sector Zambia to participate in the fair so as to showcase their products, assess their level of competitiveness in the market, share better experiences, and network with possible buyers and input suppliers. Zimbabwean leather SMEs have also participated in the fair so as to showcase their products and create better business opportunities in the future.

COMESA/LLPI was represented with two of its experts, Mr. Awlachew Sintie (Information Systems Expert, M&E) and Mrs. Birkinesh Gonfa (Investment, Trade & Marketing Expert).

During the event, SMEs has got the opportunity to different Government organizations to get information about the possible supports they can get from them. Prestige Tannery was one of the participants from Zimbabwe. Representatives of the Tannery realized the demand of finished leather by the participant SMEs and has started thinking about opening a shop in Zambia and eventually start investing to establish vegetable tanning in Zambia.
As a side activity, the team of experts from COMESA/LLPI has visited the Kitwe and Chingola Leather Clusters, and Copperstone University. The Chingola leather cluster is supported by the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) company as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. The company has supported about 28 SMEs by providing basic machineries and tools, basic leather goods training, about 240 sq. meters fully equipped structure. COMESA/LLPI appreciated the initiative that KCM is taking and is grateful to partner with so as to organize individual efforts together for the broadest outcome. The team, in its visit to the Copperstone University, has confirmed that the University is working very hard to develop the Zambia leather sector. Prof. Stiwala Mundai, while explaining the University’s activities, stressed that the MoU signed with COMESA/LLPI should be implemented phase-by-phase to benefit the most out of it. He also disclosed his plan to pay visit to Ethiopia to get best experiences from institutions that has progressed well.

SMEs, who had been supported to participate the Zambia International Trade Fair, appreciated COMESA/LLPI’s effort to develop the Zambian Leather Sector in particular and the COMESA regional leather sector in general.

Workshop for the Validation of the DR Congo Leather Value Chain Strategy, Incubation Centre Feasibility Study and Business Plan Held

DRC Strategy Validation and Launch

The COMESA/LLPI facilitated DR Congo Leather Vale Chain Strategy draft document and reports of an Incubation Centre feasibility study and Business Plan, validation workshop was held at Beatrice Hotel, Kinshasa, DR Congo from May 26 to 27, 2017.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of SMEs with financial support from COMESA Secretariat and European Union. Other institutions that brought assistance in the organization and publicity of the workshop included RAWBANK, TELE 50, and  I MAGIQUE DESIGN.

 

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COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute Conducts Training Course in Leather Footwear Design and Finishing at Masaka Business Incubation Centre

A training  course in Leather Footwear  Design and Finishing to SMEs operating in the leather footwear manufacturing was held at the Masaka Business Incubation Center, Rwanda from May 14 to 22 2017. The training was organized by COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East Africa community Affairs (MINEACOM); Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and RAPROLEP which is an Umbrella of leathers practitioners in Rwanda.

 

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COMESA/LLPI in the 2nd East Africa Manufacturing Business Summit

Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI, Presenting Paper During the Summit
Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI, Presenting Paper During the Summit

COMESA/LLPI participated in the 2nd East African Manufacturing Business Summit that was held during 23rd -25th May 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The objective of participation was to showcase the activities and plans of COMESA/LLPI to develop the regional leather sector, to create awareness of the potential of the leather sector for employment creation, wealth creation, and rural development; and to strengthen linkages with partner organizations, private sector, academia and public sector;

Presentation was made by Prof. M. Mwinyihija, Executive Director of LLPI titled: Leather and Footwear Value Chain an East African Perspective. The presentation has stimulated policy makers and participants to the extent how LLPI can work to develop the African leather sector. It has also emphasized the importance of local skills and knowledge to analyse the existing situation and formulate the way forward. The presentation has also underscored the importance of Clustering in the leather development and other Agro-based industries.

The Summit has created very good opportunity for public, private academia and other development partners to understand the activities of LLPI in the region. In return, the Summit has also opened doors for LLPI to network with different partners working for the development of the African Leather Sector.

The Summit was organized by the East Africa Community (EAC), the East Africa Business Council (EABC) and the Government of Rwanda.

The East African Community is composed of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Except Tanzania, all members of the East Africa Community are also members of COMESA/LLPI. And the East African Business Council is the apex advocacy body of business associations of the private sector Corporates from the East African countries.
The Summit identified strategic areas for industrial development in the region that bear comparative advantages and where significant private sector investment is needed to unlock potential. These strategic sectors include: agro-processing and agri-business, mineral processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, fertilizers and agro-chemicals, leather, textile, and automotive sector.

As a regional player to develop the leather sector, LLPI’s participation in the Summit has had great importance in terms of showcasing its achievements and future plans, unleashing the potential of the regional leather sector, and creating networks with development partners, private, academia and public bodies.

Partial View of LLPI's Stand during the East Africa Manufacturing Business Summit

Partial View of LLPI's Stand during the East Africa Manufacturing Business Summit

Hon François Kanimba, Minister of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, Republic of Rwanda visiting LLPI Stand
Hon François Kanimba, Minister of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, Republic of Rwanda visiting LLPI Stand

COMESA/LLPI Signed MoU with Bahir Dar University Institute of Textile and Fashion Technology

COMESA/LLPI Signed MoU with Bahir Dar University - Ethiopian Institute of Textile and Fashion Technology (BDU-EiTEX) on 12th May 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The objective of the MoU is to create and Maintain their mutual interest in technology transfer, training and research, and as a contribution to increased international co-operation.

The signing was made by Mr. Addisu Ferede, Scientific Director of EiTEX and Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI.

Partial View of the Signing Event
Partial View of the Signing Event
Partial View of the Signing Event
Partial View of the Signing Event
Partial View of the Signing Event
Partial View of the Signing Event

COMESA/LLPI Gears Up its Capacity to Deliver Value to Its Stakeholders

COMESA/LLPI in its effort to become a premier Institute in the global environment, is putting in place frameworks to strengthen its delivery model. LLPI’s work is aimed at transforming the leather value chain in the COMESA region, to migrate from production and marketing of raw materials and semi processed commodities to finished leather, footwear and leather goods.

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COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA/LLPI) Mounts Experts Team Mission to Madagascar

Partial View of the Mission
Partial View of the Mission

Two COMESA/LLPI’s Experts, Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam and Mr. Harrison Mungai conducted a mission to Antananarivo, Madagascar from March 26 to April1, 2017.

The objective of the mission was to conduct a baseline survey for gathering information that will serve as input for formulation of projects that will be supporting and strengthening the Madagascar’s Leather Value Chain towards enhanced value addition, increased productivity and improvement in quality and market access.

The Experts Team held consultative meetings with government higher officials in different Ministries, Private sector players, training Institution and made visits to different enterprises along the leather value chain.  The complete report of the mission activities will be shared with all institutions and enterprises that participated in the survey activities.

The COMESA-RISM program is acknowledged for the financial support for the implementation of the baseline survey.

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LLPI Participates in the Tunisia Workshop Towards Potential Accession to COMESA Membership

Meeting with Public Sector
Meeting with Public Sector

The COMESA Secretariat and COMESA Institutions meeting with the Tunisia government and private sector representatives was held on the 12th and 13th April 2017. The meetings were organized as part of the discussion towards Potential Accession of Tunisia to COMESA and its different institutions Membership.  LLPI was represented in two meetings held with the Private Sector and Public Sector players that were  interested to hear more on what the Institute has to offer. Important millstones were discussed with presentations done by Prof. Mekonnen to the Private Sector and Prof. Mwinyihija following up with Public Sector representatives coming from various Ministries and agencies. The discussions were  crucial as a preamble to prepare Tunisia whilest evaluating their membership accession. LLPI has offered to support Tunisian leather sector by assisting in Strategy development, SMEs development, and cluster formulation to make the sector productive and competitive.   

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First India-Commonwealth SME Trade Summit to be Held in New Delhi, India from 30th – 31st May 2017

The First India- Commonwealth SME Trade Summit is being organised in order to fulfil the main objective of promoting trade and investments among the SME sector of the Commonwealth. The Summit will be organised by ICSA in partnership with Commonwealth Secretariat; Centre for WTO Studies, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India; FISME; FICCI; CII; GBS-Africa; TPSF; COMESA LLPI; and India Business Group, London. It will bring together and link high-level policymakers from Ministries of trade and Ministry of Industry within the Commonwealth, who will discuss and exchange information about their schemes for promoting international trade, strengthening the SMEs and linking them to the global economy. This platform will also provide opportunities to the industry in the Commonwealth to showcase and sell their technologies, whether soft or hard technologies. For More Information, Please click the Brochure.

The 9th Edition of All African Leather Fair Concluded with Success

Official opening of the 9th Edition of the All African Leather Fair 2017
Official opening of the 9th Edition of the All African Leather Fair 2017

The 9th Edition of the All Africa Leather Fair (AALF-2017) that was held from 17th -19th March 2017, was successfully conducted by bringing together tanners, footwear and other leather goods manufacturers, equipment and technology suppliers, chemical and inputs suppliers, manpower training institutions, trade promotion organizations, etc from all over the world.

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Team of Academicians from Bahir Dar University Visited COMESA/LLPI

A Team of Academicians from Bahir Dar University Visited COMESA/LLPI on March 9, 2017. The Team was composed of a Public Relation Officer, Researchers and Lecturers.

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LLPI and UNEP working under the "Switch-Africa Green" Project Make a Breakthrough in Green Production of Footwear in Kenya

LLPI in pursuance of its mandate of empowering the SMEs, makes a breakthrough in facilitating Green Production of footwear in Africa. SMEs are producing footwears through eco-friendly processes through the technical support from the COMESA/LLPI and UNEP Switch Africa Green Project and financed by EU.

LLPI is optimistic through working partnership with UNEP and a kind assistance of the European Union (EU) it would create opportunities for reducing poverty, creating wealth, improving on gender parity and stimulating rural development particularly geared towards the SMEs empowerment.

Furthermore, LLPI is anticipating to replicate the success story in other Africa countries and, therefore, takes special appreciation to its excellent working partnership with Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) and UNEP through financing accessed from EU.

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The Ethiopia Leather Value Chain Strategy Unpacking Workshop Held

The Ethiopia Leather Value Chain Strategy (2016-2020) unpacking workshop was held on February 10, 2017 at Nexus hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. COMESA/LLPI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry of the Government of Ethiopia facilitated the development of the Strategy and also organized the unpacking workshop.

Participants of the workshop were drawn from different public, private institutions and associations.

The objective of the Workshop was to streamline accountability and responsibilities of the different government and private institutions/organizations and stakeholders in the implementation of the Leather Value Chain Strategic Objectives stated in the Strategy Document.

 



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Hub Footwear Consultant Supports U.S. Market Linkages with Ethiopian and Kenyan Firms

The Hub’s footwear consultant traveled to Ethiopia and Kenya over the past week to meet with footwear stakeholders and exporters. Ethiopia is the largest African exporter of footwear under AGOA and Kenya is seeking to revitalize its leather sector, with footwear as a major component. The Hub’s footwear consultant assessed Ethiopian and Kenyan footwear firms to identify export-ready enterprises with which the Hub will engage. Selected firms will benefit from one-on-one technical assistance and linkages with U.S. buyers. Selected firms will also be eligible to participate in Hub-sponsored trade shows, including the upcoming Sourcing at MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, NV on February 20-23, 2017.

While in Ethiopia, the Hub’s footwear consultant conducted a technical workshop with 20 export-ready companies to educate participants on U.S. market dynamics and requirements. Prof. Mwinyihija, the Executive Director of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute also made a presentation on intra-regional footwear market opportunities in Eastern Africa which was well received by companies.

COMESA/LLPI at the Djibouti 4th Edition of the Artisanal Innovation Day

The Djibouti 4th edition of the Artisanal Innovation Day was held around the theme “Craftsmanship and Regions" on January 5, 2017 at “PALAIS DU PEUPLE”, Djibouti. 

The event was organized by the Ministry of Trade, SMEs, Crafts, Tourism and Formalization, in collaboration with stakeholders and the private sector. More than 200 participants, including large number of artisans that came from all over the country took part in this event.

 

 

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Malawi losing billions of dollars on export of skins and hides raw products-ACTESA

Mr. Flex Jumbe Opening the
Mr. Flex Jumbe While Opening the "10th Regional Leather Sector Core
Team (RLSCT) and 4th Stakeholders
Consultative Workshop held in Hawassa, Ethiopia"

In an exclusive interview with Felix Jumbe, COMESA’s Alliance for Common Trade in Eastern and Southern African (ACTESA) Board Chairperson upon arrival from Ethiopia on Leather and Leather Products conference, disclosed that Malawi was losing billions of dollars in revenue collection through export.

Jumbe who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Salima Central observed that livestock’s hides and skins are being underused and wasted in the country while the world market is in dire need of them.

The ACTESA board chairperson Jumbe said it was high time Malawi capitalized on the already made leather market by rejuvenating its leather products sector. He added that the nation has the potential to export leather products considering the numbers of livestock and animals it has.

“Most African countries including the 20 member COMESA are losing out a lot of dollars in raw materials export on leather. And Malawi is the worst performing country as it has no organized structures for this sector. We don’t have a good legal frame work to facilitate leather trading as the nation still uses an old 1966 Act on leather product which needs to be reviewed, “said Jumbe.

He added: “Malawi has the potential for the leather sector considering the millions of cows, goats and wildlife animals on our land. We just need to get organized by formulating national council and associations on leather trade.”

“After 52 years of independence Malawi is still struggling with the export market. Leather markets are already made for us. If we continue exporting raw materials nothing will work for us. Just image processed skin or hide of a square metre fetches US$ 5 while unprocessed ones are at MK300 for the same quantity. This is how Malawi is losing out. We need to do something to boost our export revenue collection”, said Jumbe.

The lawmaker plans to engage ministries of Agricultures and Trade on how best the leather sector can put its operations in order in the country with possibility of having a processing plants for hides and skins products.

Source : www.maravipost.com

Republic of Burundi: COMESA/LLPI Experts Team Mission

The COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute’s Experts Team, led by the Institute’s Executive Director, Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, and composed of the Institute’s Leather Value Chain Expert Prof Mekonnen Hailemariam  and Cluster Expert, Mr. Nicholas Mudungwe was on Mission to the Republic of Burundi from November 27 to May 2  2016.

The purpose of the Mission was to conduct a training course in “Governance, Cluster Implementation Procedures and Administration”  to SMEs working in leather footwear and leather goods manufacturing, and to discuss with the officials and concerned stakeholders on the best way forward for the  implementation of the National Leather Value Chain Strategy and Training Programs in Leather Technology. It is to be recalled that both the Strategy and training programs development was fully sponsored by COMESA/LLPI and finalized and submitted in 2015.

The Experts Team conducted a three day training in “Governance, Cluster Implementation Procedures and Administration  to 20 SMEs working in leather sector and 7 participants from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourisme at Royal Palace Hotel, Bujumbura. The training topics encompassed designing incubation frameworks for SMEs, Cluster Governance, Cluster business and action plans and administration.

The Expert Team was also received by the Permanent Secretaries  of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourisme and Ministry of Education;  Assistant to the Minister of the Ministry of Public Service, labour and Employment, and Chief of Protocol of the President’s Office to discuss on the best way forward for the Burundi Leather Value Chain Strategy implementation and ways and means of the starting of the Vocational and Diploma level Training programs in leather technology. The government is planning to collaborate with LLPI to train around 600 youth in skills that will improve their livelihoods. The two parties (the Government and COMESA/LLPI) will further discuss on ways and means of imparting leather related skills to the youth.

It is pertinent to note that the message of promoting value addition as a mechanism of unleashing value in the leather sector in the COMESA region that COMESA/LLPI has been spearheading is starting to bear fruits in Burundi. In 2013, COMESA/LLPI held a regional workshop in Addis in partnership with UNCTAD. The theme of the workshop was promoting intra trade in value added products. Among many participants, there was Mr. Bede Bedetse, who is the owner of Afritan tannery in Bujumbura, Burundi. For many years he was focusing on the production and export of wet blue, however the message on promoting the production of value added products, hit him hard and he quickly decided to upgrade his tannery to a leather finishing stage. Three years down the line some of his leather is being used in footwear production in Burundi and the region. However, the zenith of his success, three years down the line has been marked by manufacturing upholstery leather, which has now replaced synthetics in the manufacturing of furniture in Burundi. This is historical, and COMESA/LLPI team and trainees took time to visit a shop where some of the sofas made from finished leather from Afritan, were on display. In the picture below , Professor Mwinyihija, congratulated Mr. Bede Bedetse on his milestone achievement, which is set to motivate other tanneries in the COMESA region to emulate this.

The Experts Team mission was successfully completed with issuance of certificates to trainees and fruitful discussions with concerned Ministries on the way forward for the implementation of the vocational and diploma level curricula and national leather value chain strategy. See picture below some of the participants showing off their certificates.

Some of the quotes, which were captured during the training, are as follows:

Mr. Gedeor King Nduwimana  – President of the Association of Footwear Artisans in Burundi “ This cannot end without me acknowledging the importance of the three days to our business operations; we were working in isolation for many years and we have not developed by an inch; this training has transformed our mind sets by demonstrating the importance of clustering; the concept of clustering has been well presented to us, and it is now very clear in our minds that joint collaboration will enhance our business operations and competitiveness and the future will not be the same”

Mr. Zepherin Nsahimana, the Secretary General of the Association of Footwear Artisan in Burundi “ The training has allowed us to see far ahead we are more informed and we are ready to take the challenge”

Ms. Kauziza Alda Pamela “These three days were very useful, we have leant a lot, and what we can only say is thank you to COMESA/LLPI, and we are ready to transform our operations”

The Ethiopia Leather Sector Value Chain Strategy Launched

The Ethiopia Leather Sector Value Chain Five Year Strategy that was facilitated and fully sponsored by COMESA/LLPI was Launched on 25th November 2016 at Nexus Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Launching Event was graced by H.E. Tadesse Haile, State Minister, Ministry of Industry of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and H.E. Prof. Mwinykione Mwinyihija, Executive Director of COMESA - Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA/LLPI) and more than 30 participants representing different institutions, organizations and enterprises across the leather value chain.

The Strategy formulation, pre-validation and validation processes were fully participatory, involving sector players across the value chain and stakeholders from Public and Private sectors and Academia.

Mr. Wondu Legesse, Director General of the Ethiopia Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI), during his opening remark emphasized that the Strategy Development Process considered the Global Dynamics in the leather industry and experiences of different countries which progressed in the Industry. He also iterated that Strategy Development by itself is not enough; it must be followed by detailed work plan and implementation. Finally, Mr. Wondu appreciated COMESA/LLPI for the support rendered to the Ethiopia Leather Industry.

Prof. Mwinyihija, during his Strategy Handing over Remark, stressed that COMESA/LLPI in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry will evaluate the implementation of the Strategy annually. He also mentioned that the Ethiopia Leather Industry Association (ELIA) Strategy is also finalized and will also be launched in few weeks time.

H.E. Mr. Tadesse Haile, during his launching remarks expressed his extreme happiness and appreciated the participatory approach that was followed in the development processes of the Strategy. H.E. Mr. Tadesse said that the Strategy will have a great role to play towards achieving the Ethiopian Government’s set GTP II industrialization goals.

H.E. Tadesse thanked COMESA/LLPI for all the support provided to develop the Ethiopia Leather Industry.

The Strategy unpacking meeting will take place soon.

ED of LLPI in the "BREXIT: Prospects for India-UK FTA" Meeting

The Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI participated in the "The BREXIT: Prospects for India-UK FTA " meeting held on November 8, 2016 in New Delhi India.
ED of LLPI was invited as one of the main speakers drawn from global audience relating to developmental issues and looking for opportunities to work and trade with the UK.
During the same Meeting the ED of LLPI met with Ms Rita Teaotia, Secretary of Department of Commerce of the Government of India.

Commonwealth Secretariat in its project on “India’s Global Value Chains: Linking LDCs” has identified the export opportunities of India in 50 markets including USA, EU, UK, RCEP countries, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa. A market access of around $22 billion has been estimated that India can get by exporting identified 35 lead products where India has the potential of forming its own global value chains (GVCs). 20 LDCs and 3 South Asian countries have been identified which can export intermediate products and inputs to these GVCs.

To actualize the existing potential trade and investments and link the Commonwealth countries, which share the same language and similar legal institutions, India-Commonwealth SME Association was launched by the Secretariat in June 2016. For developing and least developed countries in Commonwealth SMEs represent an opportunity of wider economic development and poverty alleviation. Linking these SMEs to each other as well as to the SMEs in the developed members of the Commonwealth can provide huge opportunities to export and invest for all member states.

The main objective of the Association is to provide a sustainable platform for exporters and importers to regularly meet, build awareness of existing global standards as well as to encourage regional and extra regional investments in areas where the countries have competitiveness but lacks capacity. The association will be beneficial for both India as well as the Commonwealth nations more particularly the LDCs, as it will enable Indian firms to source their inputs more competitively while it will help LDCs to improve their supply capacities as well as diversify their export baskets. In other words, the association will help in enhancing and diversifying the exports of Commonwealth countries. This is first of its kind Association where India will take a lead and connect the Commonwealth countries, a platform which can provide huge opportunities for all member countries but is yet to be explored systematically in a sustained manner.

Leather and Leather Products is one of the eight Chapters identified in the Global Value Chain and COMESA/LLPI as a regional body working on leather and leather products development will have immense role in the Association.

The ED is also the Advisory Board Member of the India-Commonwealth SME Association.

The important issues of Indo-Africa continued relationship and pursuance of developmental goals were briefly discussed. Accompanying the ED of LLPI were Dr. Banga of ComSec and Mr. Yassin Awale, the Leather Sector Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary -Ministry of Trade, Kenya.

Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA) Strategic Document Pre-validation Workshop

COMESA-LLPI organized the above one day Workshop for key Stakeholders that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ELIA Meeting Hall, on 8th November 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to pre-validate the Draft Medium Term Strategic Action Plan, 2017-2021, (MTSAP) document through intensive discussion among key stakeholders, invited by the Association. The Workshop was represented by 7 participants from various leather and allied industries/enterprises and COMESA/LLPI.

The MTSAP (Strategy) document was developed by the COMESA/LLPI on the basis of extensive consultations among the leather value chain actors, review of important documents from private and public sector nationally and beyond, in close collaboration with ELIA.
The Strategy planning attempted to align ELIA’s Mission and Vision, identify and find ways of formulating workable Strategy to assist its members and the Government as well. During the one day workshop presentations by COMESA/LLPI Experts were made and held discussions on the Draft Document and comments made by participants.

The Workshop recommended enriching the Documents by various inputs provided, and COMESA/LLPI to make the Document ready for further validation by the General Assembly of the Association intended to take place in the second week of December 2016.

COMESA/LLPI Participated in the African Union Commodities Strategy Validation Workshop

The African Union organized Commodities Strategy Validation Workshop for Africa and Meeting of the AU Commodities Task Force was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 2 - 4 November 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to validate the recommendations of the AU Commodities Strategy with Private Sector stakeholders and other key actors. More than 30 participants from different institutions across Africa took part in the workshop and COMESA-Leather and leather products institute (COMESA/LLPI) was represented by Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam, Leather value Chain Expert and Personal Assistant to the Executive Director.

The Commodities Strategy document was developed by the AU Department of Trade and Industry in close collaboration with other key Departments notably, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Department of Infrastructure and Energy, Department of Economic Affairs, the Bureau of the Chairperson. The Strategy lays out a vision for commodity-led industrialization: to use commodities as a driver for achieving the structural social and economic transformation of Africa and Agenda 2063.  The AU Commodities Strategy reviews the state of play for high-priority commodities sectors in Africa, namely agriculture, mining, and energy.  It also focuses on two critical cross-cutting issues: Managing commodity price volatility and Industrialization through Commodities.

During the three days workshop presentations and discussions were held on key recommendations of the Agricultural, Mining and Energy Commodities Sub Committees as well as on crosscutting recommendations. African Commodity Exchanges experiences from Ethiopia and Malawi were also presented and discussed. Prof. Mekonnen from COMESA\LLPI by briefing participants on the economic importance of the leather sector for Africa in general and COMESA region in particular requested to consider it as one of the key commodities.  He also highlighted the activities that COMESA/LLPI is currently working for the transformation of the African Leather Value Chain from Commodity Dependence to Product Development.

Sudan Universities Collaborate with Didan Kimathi University of Technology in Kenya

COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute facilitated top leather Academics from Sudan leading Universities to assist Didan Kimathi University of Technology in their  Leather Technology training program.

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