The 6th meeting of technical harmonization committee (THC -07) on textiles and leather products was convened at Sarova Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya from 5th to 8th of November 2019. It was attended by 27 delegates drawn from African Countries/Institutions namely; from Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI), Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda,  Zimbabwe, Sudan and  ARSO Secretariat from Nairobi. Apology was noted from South Africa. ALLPI was represented in this meeting by Harrison Mungai (the Institute’s Leather Value Chain and Tannery Expert.

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Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI), in its endeavor to promote intra-regional and international trade in the leather sector, fully sponsored 9 leather SMEs from nine Member countries to participate during the 11th edition of All Africa Leather Fair (AALF) which was held 9th – 12th November 2019 at Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) in collaboration with Leather Industry Development Institute of Ethiopia (LIDI) and Ethiopia Leather Industry Association (ELIA) facilitated the business mission of France composed of five business people and Association Leaders to the leather Industry in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 7th – 9th November 2019 . The business people were from major industry players in France (DEGE TRADING / NORCUIR, COVICO / NOUVELLE SOCIETE ARNAUD, FORTAIN, NICK WINTERS HIDES & SKINS / BIGARD / SOCOPA, SYNDICAT GENERAL DES CUIRS ET PEAUX).

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ALLPI in collaboration with Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Trade of Kingdom of Eswatini conducted training on Footwear Design, Cutting and Assembling during 14th – 25th October 2019 in Ezulwini Valley, Kingdom of Eswatini. The Training venue was Cooperative College for the theoretical part and for the practical part was taking place in crafters training center. The Training was sponsored by Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM).

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Only two of Tanzania’s eight tanneries are now operating, as they are unable to make a profit on leather, according to specialist local press.

S&V Africa Leather quotes Niaz Hirani, head of leather at tannery operator Industrial Promotion Services, who said the situation is so bad that most hides are now being dried and sold to West Africa as food, a local delicacy.

Tanners in East Africa have warehouses of hides they are unable to process, and might soon have to sell them for less than they paid to liquidate stock, he added.


The authorities in Botswana have said construction will start soon on a new leather park at Lobatse and could be ready to start production within 18 months.

At a recent seminar on the project, Lesitamang Paya, who is co-ordinating work on the leather park for the local authority, said that Botswana’s current cattle population of 1.8 million head would be unable to supply the volume of hides the site will need to operate efficiently.

He said his calculations show that 75 tonnes of hides per day will be needed as raw material for the leather park to operate well. He called on livestock farmers in Botswana to improve their herd management, starting immediately, to supply the hides required.

Around 60% of the raw material the new leather park will process will be bovine hides, he explained, with exotic skins, including ostrich and crocodile, making up the rest.

Mr Paya added that the leather park is also likely to consume two million litres of water per day. He said the project’s solution to this was to build the park close to an existing water resource, a sewerage treatment facility close to Lobatse. He explained that the plan was to extract water from here, treat it and use it in leather production. Wastewater from tanning operations will then be used at a nearby farm.

In addition, there will be a dedicated, secure landfill site for disposing of solid waste from the park.


Ethiopian footwear manufacturer Anbessa has emerged as the successful bidder in an auction to acquire a tannery in Bahir Dar, around 500 kilometres north of Addis Ababa.

The former Habesha tannery operated from 2011 until April 2019, making crust for export markets. When it ceased production, banks moved in and arranged the auction to recoup some of the money the previous owners owed.

Anbessa has said it plans to buy new machinery, to take production as far as finished leather, which it intends to use in its own footwear manufacturing operations. It also said it will build a new water treatment plant at the site.

After securing ownership of the tannery, Bamlaku Demissie, general manager of Anbessa, said: “We’ve been buying finished leather from the different tanneries. Now we’ll make our own.”

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At the recent All China Leather Exhibition in Shanghai, secretary general of the China Leather Industry Association, Chen Zhanguang, announced new guidelines that the agency has distributed to member companies regarding the correct use of the English term ‘leather’.

“These are only guidelines and not yet law,” Mr Chen said, “and it will take time for regulation to come in. But the All China Leather Exhibition is the best place to start implementing this practice.”

Turkish tanners, leather chemicals and tanning machinery manufacturers have built strong ties with partners in Africa.

Companies in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and other parts of Africa have found willing buyers in Turkey of raw and semi-processed hides and skins.

In parallel, Turkish tanning machinery manufacturers and leather chemicals suppliers have been able to make sales among these African suppliers. “A new trading system is in operation,” industry commentators have said.


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