COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute’s Expert Team led by its Executive Director, Prof. M. Mwinyihija and composed of Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam, Institutional Capacity Development and Consultancy Expert and Mr. Harrison Mungai Leather Value Chain and Tannery Expert, conducted mission to Mauritius from October 1 to 7 ,2017 to undertake situational analysis of the leather sector, identify Mauritius competitiveness and its comparative advantage in the leather sector, identify key stakeholders of the leather value chain and analyze their interlinkage towards the development of the sector; assess the operational status of SMEs both in leather processing, footwear and garments and evaluate Market dynamics in local, regional and global trade.
The Expert Team started its activities by an introductory meeting held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer protection. Participants of the discussion were officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (Industry Division); Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA); Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration Division.
The discussions focused on Leather sector current performance at regional and global levels, the current status of the Mauritius leather sector development, lessons that can be learned from other COMESA countries experiences and interventions that could accelerate the growth of the Mauritius leather sector. The Team then conducted site visits to a commercial tannery (Luxor Tannery- the only one in Mauritius), large and small leather sector enterprises, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and Mauritius Institute of Training and Development in charge of all vocational and professional trainings.
After the field visit, the Team held a debriefing session on October 6, 2017 with officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (Industry Division); SMEDA; Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mauritius Bureau of Standards, Mauritius Enterprises Association, and others, during which major findings of the Team were presented and an in-depth discussion was held including the way forward. The Team pledged to submit a complete final report in one weeks’ time. As a closing remark of the debriefing session, Mr. Marcel Lan Pin Win, Principal Analyst, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (Industry Division), thanked COMESA/LLPI for all the support LLPI has given to the Ministry. In his remarks, the Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI Prof. Mwinyihija expressed his heartfelt appreciation and gratefulness for the exemplary hospitality and efficient organization of the mission activities by the Ministry. He reaffirmed COMESA/LLPI’s continued support for the Mauritius leather sector development including the formulation of country’s leather sector strategy that will serve as a roadmap for enhanced value addition, increased productivity, quality improvement and market access in the leather sector.