The COMESA/LLPI facilitated DR Congo Leather Vale Chain Strategy draft document and reports of an Incubation Centre feasibility study and Business Plan, validation workshop was held at Beatrice Hotel, Kinshasa, DR Congo from May 26 to 27, 2017.
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of SMEs with financial support from COMESA Secretariat and European Union. Other institutions that brought assistance in the organization and publicity of the workshop included RAWBANK, TELE 50, and I MAGIQUE DESIGN.
The occasion was graced by the presence of H.E. Mr. Bienvenu LIYOTA, Ministre des PME, H.E. Mr. Georges KAZADI KABONGO, Ministre de l’Agriculture ; H.E. Mr. Eugene SERUFULI, Ministre des Affaires Sociales; H.E. Mr. Pierrot UWEKA UKABA , Ministre de la Formation Professionnelle, Métiers et Artisanat; and H.E. Mme. Astrid MADIYA, Ministre de la Culture et Arts. A total of more than 100 participants drawn from the different Ministries various public and private sector institutions, representatives from EU Kinshasa office and leather sector associations, SMEs from different segments of the leather value chain and a team of Experts from COMESA-Leather and Leather products Institute (COMESA/LLPI) took part in the workshop.
The workshop was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Bienvenu LIYOTA, (Ministre des PME) who in his welcome address reiterated the importance of SME serving as engine for economic growth and development through their contribution job creation and wealth generation despite the multiple constraints and challenges they are facing. The Honorable Minister, by quoting a recent speech of the head of the State (H.E. President Kabila), also made mention of the unwavering will of the government to promote the Congolese SMEs. The Minster in his concluding remark once again confirmed his Ministry’s full support in the implementation of the strategy and establishment of the leather Incubator.
The OPEC Director General Mr. Donatien MUKENDI WA MUKENDI and Mr. Thierry MUTOMBO representing the COMESA Secretary General made also opening remarks. Both speakers pointed out the importance attributed to the leather sector in its development endeavors and the expectations from the workshop.
Mr. Nicholas Mudungwe, Programs Coordinator and Professor Mekonnen Hailemariam, Institutional Capacity Development and Consultancy Expert, both from COMESA/LLPI made presentations on feasibility study, business plan and leather value chain strategy. The draft documents were then thoroughly discussed and validated with few comments and recommendation.
At the end of the workshop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between COMESA/LLPI and OPEC for continued and further strengthened collaboration. Professor MWINYIHIJA MWINYIKIONE, Executive Director of COMESA/LLPI and Mr MUKENDI MUKENDI Donatien, Director General of OPEC signed the MoU representing their respective Institutions. The workshop was concluded with a four-point recommendation regarding the implementation of the leather value chain strategy and establishment of the incubation center.