A training course in Leather Footwear Design and Finishing to SMEs operating in the leather footwear manufacturing was held at the Masaka Business Incubation Center, Rwanda from May 14 to 22 2017. The training was organized by COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East Africa community Affairs (MINEACOM); Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and RAPROLEP which is an Umbrella of leathers practitioners in Rwanda.
A total of 30 trainees, drawn from different parts of the country from public and private sectors, took part in the training. The purpose of the training program was to enhance the productivity and quality footwear production through improving the knowhow, skills and attitude of SMEs in designing and finishing footwear in Rwanda. Major topics covered during the training encompassed basic leather specifications and their suitability in footwear production; Characteristic of bonded leather and real leather; Characteristic and classification of lasts for various styles; Principle of Pattern Cutting; Principle of Designing; Development of the parts and techniques to construct basic upper patterns; Techniques to develop bottom and stiffening patterns; Closing upper; Lasting and quality assurance and Shoe finishing techniques. The training will contribute a lot for the growth of existing SMEs and boosting the number of new-starters in Rwanda.
The summary of the evaluation undertaken at the end of the training by the trainees as well as trainers indicated that the overwhelming majority of the participants were very satisfied with the training course contents and delivery.
The LLPI Team led by the Executive Director Prof. Mwinyihija also made visits to two SMEs Production Units and one small training center run by a Church in Kigali, and made fruitful discussions with the responsible persons on possible areas of collaboration and assistance from COMESA/LLPI to further strengthen their leather sector activities.
The COMESA/LLPI Expert Team, also met and discussed with the WDA Experts, on the tailor- making of the COMESA/LLPI earlier submitted Vocational and Diploma level Curricula in leather Technology to the Workforce Development Authority format.