The 13th ALLPI Annual Regional Consultative Forum which was held from 11th to 13th December 20119 at Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Center (BICC), Lilingwe, Malawi concluded with bundles of success. The Forum was attended by the Regional Leather Sector Core Team Members, MSMEs, Technical Committee Members, Representatives of Member States, Academia, Private Sector and Partner Institutions, namely: Ege University-Turkey, Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI)-India, U.V. Enterprises-India, Solidaridad-Southern Africa, and Trade and Fairs Consulting GmbH-Germany.
The Forum was conducted with the Theme of “Develop Africa’s Leather Chain through Research, Business Linkages and Technology Transfer”.
The Forum was anchored with the following specific objectives.
Create opportunity to share the national and regional leather sector success stories (Promote cross fertilization of success models);
- Build consensus towards innovation, quality assurance and their importance for export readiness in reference to recent events;
- Share research undertakings by identified players at regional and global level
- Identify the key challenges and interventions towards achieving sustainable regional leather sector development
- Enhance the leather tanning industry sustainable production processes, consumption and eco-entrepreneurship
- Design potential pathway to capacity building and technology transfer from national, regional and global perspectives
- Discuss the new Strategic Direction of ALLPI being Knowledge based Institution
The annual Consultative Forum was officially opened by Hon. Salim Ibrahim Bagusi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Republic of Malawi. With him was Dr. Joseph Mkandawire, Director Finance and Administration in the Ministry and other top-ranking officials from the Ministry. The Forum was attended by more than 100 participants representing National, Regional and International Partners in the Leather Sector drawn from Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and other partner organization representatives from India, Turkey, Germany and Solidaridad Southern Africa.
The Opening of the event started with the welcoming address by Prof. Mwinyihija, the Executive Director of Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI). With him were Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam, the Program Coordinator and other ALLPI Experts.
In his introductory remark, Prof. Mwinyihija appreciated support, contribution and goodwill of the partners who contributed to the organization of the Forum.
He also recognized the presence of Prof. Bahri Basaran of Ege University, Turkey, Dr. John Sundar of CLRI, India, Mr. M. Enkosi Nkomo of Solidaridad, South Africa, Mr. Skander Andereson NEGASI of Trade and Fairs Consulting GmbH, Germany and Mr. Viswanathan and Mr. Arunoli of U.V. Enterprise, Chennai, India respectively.
More striking presentations were made during the plenary session of Triple Helix and other invited partners; and most of them were pivoted on technological transfer, effluent treatment, quality improvement and best policy and implementation practices of various value chain players.
At the final stage participants were grouped in to four groups according to leather value chain strata (Leather Product SMEs, Tanners, Academia and public sector players) to discuss and come up with recommendations at the various levels of the leather value chain.
Partial View of the Consultative Forum