Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) facilitated the Experience sharing mission of Malawi delegates composed of ten officials from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Leather sector association leaders of Malawi to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 9th – 12th March 2020. The general objective of the mission was to share experiences on how to foster the development of SMEs/cooperatives in the leather sector. The Mission was initiated and supported by the MALAWI ENTERPRISE PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENT (MEPE) PROJECT III.
Specific Objectives were:
- To familiarize with the best approach in the promotion and development of cooperatives in the leather sector;
- Expose Cooperatives to potential suppliers of raw materials and accessories for the leather products;
- To identify and link the cooperatives to potential suppliers of raw materials and accessories for leather products;
- Linking Cooperatives to private and public sector buyers;
- Expose cooperatives to institutions similar to the leather design studio (LDS) for the sustainability of the Malawi LDS.
The experience sharing mission program includes:
- Visiting Leather Industry Development Institute of Ethiopia (LIDI) to get an understanding of Governments to support activities for leather sector actors along the leather value chain,
- Visiting LIDI premises to see the support areas of research, product development and technical support to the leather sector,
- Visiting selected leather and leather product manufacturers for the supply of raw material (leather) and to explore trading and business opportunities between the two countries on Finished Leather and accessories sourcing opportunities;
- Visiting Ethio-International Footwear Cluster Cooperative Society (EIFCCOS) to explore how clusters/cooperatives are working in Ethiopia with respect to cluster governance, joint procurement, joint production, joint marketing, and revenues sharing;
- Visiting Ethiopian Standard Agency to explore how Standards are developed and implemented in Ethiopia
Visiting Industrial park to gain Experiences on industrial parks set up, operation, etc…
The Team gave feedback to ALLPI after the experience sharing mission completed and thanked ALLPI for the successful facilitation of this mission. The team also confirmed the readiness to implement the experiences shared from Ethiopia as Africa should develop with what Africans have first for the maximum use of our own resources. The Leather sector Association representative also confirmed the potential we have as Africa to create raw material sourcing linkages and to be exercised as a country in a joint procurement modality.