Fifth World Leather Congress (WLC) was held at Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 1st November 2021 under the theme of “Leather a Gift of Nature” in HYBRID mode to provide participants the options of attending either physically or virtually Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The Congress is the premier international event in the field of leather sector and had many leather professionals and leaders that presented technical speech and debate pressing global issues challenging the leather sector development. The congress is the first of its kind in Africa following the 4th World Leather Congress (WLC) that was held on 16 July 2019, in New York., USA. The congress was organized by Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry of Ethiopia and it was awarded to Ethiopia due to the efforts played by the Executive Director of ALLPI Professor Mwinyikione Mwinyihija Current president of International Council of Tanners (ICT). The one day Congress program was introduced by Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam, the adviser to the Executive director, who gave the overall profile of the event and what it means for Africa.
The Welcome Speech was from Ag ED, ALLPI, Mr. Ghebregziabher Ghebremedhin and he welcomed the physical as well as the virtual participants the Congress and expressing gratitude to organizers who made the event a success. The present ICT Secretary, Dr. Kerry senior also welcomed the participants by introducing the background of ICT establishment in 1926 and gave a summary of the trends and issues within the leather industry. He also expressed his happiness to be part of the Congress held in Ethiopia.
The Official Opening Speech was delivered by H.E Mr. Tarekegn Bululta, the State Minister, to the Ministry of Industry and he thanks the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute, currently holding the presidency of the International Council of Tanners (ICT), and the Executive Committee of the ICT for selecting Ethiopia as the venue of this biennial Congress of the Global organization for the leather producing industry. He also mentioned the presentations, discussions and deliberations of the Congress will undoubtedly provide valuable guidance as to how to address the increasing concerns among the peoples of the world with the rational utilization of renewable natural resources, and with the conservation of the environment from pollution. Finally, he wished a delightful and stimulating Congress to the participants, speakers and moderators during the Congress Session and officially opened a Hybrid congress from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The following topics were covered by the global speakers during the Congress:
- The Relation of Leather to the Livestock and Meat Industry
- Footwear and Leather Goods Global Perspective
- Luxury and Fashion Leather World
- Leather Processing and Sustainability
- Leather value chain and sustainability as the industry driver
- Practical Solutions for Deploying Polymer Sphere Technology at Production Scale
- Sustainability through Standards with Integrity
- Regional and International Trade and Policy
- Tannery of the Future / Self Assessment programme.
The session was officially closed by ALLPI Ag. ED and Secretary of ICT after a detailed discussion and deliberation of the day’s activity.