The Secretary-General (SG) of COMESA, Her Excellency Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe visited ALLPI on Friday, 17th February 2023. This was a courtesy call visit to ALLPI, which is one of the COMESA institutions endorsed by the COMESA heads of states, and mandated to facilitate the development of the leather sector in Africa in general and the COMESA region in particular. She was accompanied by the Executive Support Officer in her office, Mrs. Maluba S. Sinyambo and the Chief Resource Mobilization and International Cooperation (Secretary General’s office- International Cooperation Unit).
The purpose of the visit was for her Excellency to get briefings on ALLPI activities towards the leather sector development in the 10 member countries of ALLPI and also identify areas where the COMESA secretariat can provide support.
The ALLPI team led by the Acting Executive Director (Ag.ED) and Programmes Coordinator, Mr. Ghebregziabher Ghebremedhin welcomed the SG and were elated by her visit.
The Ag.ED briefed the SG on the ongoing activities by ALLPI aimed at enhancing the leather sector development in the member states. The Ag ED in his briefing iterated how ALLPI’s Strategies objectives are aligned with COMESA Treaty, AUC Industrial Pillars, and SDG Goals. Some of the activities presented to the SG, are the development and implementation of clustering of SMEs along the leather value chain in member states , the establishment and implementation of the Regional Design Studio and satellite design studios in member states, the RECAMP activities comprising; Certification of Eco-friendly Leather Products System Implementation in Line with Global Development to strengthen the Human and Institutional Capacity; Holding a regional workshop to build capacity of ALLPI Member States and regional focal persons on application of standards for leather value chains including design of footwear and leather goods which meet regulatory and safety standards of the markets; Designing a regional hides and skins traceability systems in line with global developments and provide capacity building to COMESA MS in the implementation of the regional hides and skins traceability systems; and Conducting a review of the Regional Leather Value Chain Strategy (2012-2016) with the aim of developing the new strategy, the successful hosting of two global events (the IULTCS and WLC Congresses in Africa (Ethiopia). In addition, the ALLPI promoting inter-REC cooperation in the leather sector through building a common physical and institutional infrastructure development program, projects under BADEA support, and online business directories were presented to the SG.
In response to the presentations, the SG expressed her satisfaction with the ALLPI activities in the member states. She encouraged ALLPI to make more COMESA countries become members to benefit from its services. She also assured ALLPI that her office and the COMESA secretariat at large are committed to work with ALLPI to achieve its mandate for the member states.
The visit for Secretary-General ended with a cocktail reception prepared in her honor.