In an effort to increase its membership, Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) organized a meeting with Ambassadors/Embassy representatives from COMESA member countries and two non COMESA member states based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the meeting was dubbed “ALLPI’s Contribution to COMESA Regional Leather Value Chain Development: A Fight for Poverty reduction and unemployment Using Hides and Skins value addition”. The event took place on the 14th September 2022 at Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The purpose of the breakfast meeting was to highlight how ALLPI and its member states are reducing Poverty and gender Parity using Hides and Skins value addition, training and marketing that contributed to Leather products development, Job creation and regional integration.
The rationale of involving 21 COMESA Member Country Embassies is to increase interactivity and sharing of the experiences of the 10 ALLPI’s Member States and the 11 countries that have not yet joined ALLPI.
The meeting was graced by the Director General, Manufacturing Industry Development Institute -Dr. Milkesa Jagema (guest of honor) who read the speech on behalf of H.E. Tarekegn Bululta State Minister, Ministry of Industry, Federal Republic of Ethiopia. In the opening remarks, the Director General informed the distinguished Excellencies why ALLPI was established by the 17 COMESA member states and spelled out its role of supporting activities towards development of the leather value chains of its member states within the COMESA region and across the continent of Africa. He underscored the purpose of the meeting and commended ALLPI for coming up with such an innovative initiative.
In his speech, the Director General highlighted the significance of Africa Leather sector in the world’s economy as well as the challenges the sector still faces in meeting the demands of finished leather and leather products. He therefore encouraged all COMESA and Non-COMESA member countries to unite and consolidate their efforts in the leather sector to harness the great potential for Africa to covert hides and skins in to finished leather and leather products through becoming members of ALLPI.
At the same meeting the board chairperson for ALLPI Mr. Abdul Hakiim Sekandi shared a case study with the Ambassadors highlighting how Uganda (an ALLPI member state) has benefited from the services of ALLPI and he urged other countries that are not yet members of ALLPI to consider joining.
The Programmes coordinator for ALLPI Mr. Ghebregziabher Ghebremedhin Agheba gave a full report on behalf of the ALLPI Executive Director – Professor Mwinyihija Mwinyikione what ALLPI has accomplished in its members states and appealed to the rest of the countries who are not yet members to consider joining ALLPI.
The Institutional Capacity development and Consultancy Expert Mr. Michael Kiraye also furnished the distiquished Ambassadors with empirical data on potential for the Africa Leather sector, the production and trade deficits and also highlighted the need for all African member countries to work together to foster the Africa leather sector development.
Going forward, The Programmes coordinator Mr. Ghebregziabher Ghebremedhin Agheba reiterated ALLPI’s commitment to work with all COMESA and non-COMESA countries. The coordinator assured the Distinguished Ambassadors that ALLPI will work with their respective countries in the transformation of the leather sector and requested the distinguished ambassadors to liaise with their respective countries on joining ALLPI.