“Workshop on Strengthening Regional Supply Chains in Leather Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa”
June 6, 2013
Nexus Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The COMESA-Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA/LLPI), in partnership with UNCTAD, Commonwealth Secretariat and African EXIM Bank, is hosting a two-day Workshop on Regional Leather Supply Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The International Workshop, under UNCTAD’s Project on “Regional Supply Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa”, is aimed at identifying and promoting regional leather sector supply chains to assist selected African countries in value addition of the sector and diversification of their export.

The Workshop opened today, 6th June 2013, at the Nexus Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and discussed strategies for promoting regional supply chains at national and international levels, by involving important sectoral stakeholders, i.e. tanners, exporters, manufacturers, investors, academicians and policy makers from selected Sub-Saharan African countries and international experts working in the area of regional trade and international cooperation.

The International Workshop involved more than 30 public and private sector participants drawn from Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and about 10 other representatives from international and regional organizations.

The key objective of this Consultative Workshop is to obtain feedback from the industry in the region as well as policy makers on how best to strategize on intra- and inter- trade and also assimilate information from various field experiences in the region. Constraints to the forgoing regional supply chains will be examined in the Workshop and discussions will focus on the best way forward.

It is expected that the Workshop will build on the knowledge base and capacity in the region and emphasize on the importance of diversification of exports rather than commodities and use their financial resources in developing their manufacturing capacities.

At the end of the Workshop, 7th of July 2013, the participants would have made thorough discussions on several relevant agenda items and arrived at useful recommendations for further actions by national, regional and international stakeholders participating in the process.

The Workshop was officially opened by Dr. Mwinyikione Mwinyhija, Director of COMESA/LLPI and Opening Statements made by Dr. Rashmi Banga, Project Coordinator and Economic Affairs Officer, ECIDC,UNCTAD, Dr. M. A. Razzaque, Adviser and Head, International Trade and Regional Cooperation, Commonwealth Secretariat and Dr. Francis Mbroh, Director, Policy Research, Planning and International Cooperation Department, Africa EXIM Bank, respectively.

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