Part I: General News

Mr. Tezera Ketema Nominated for the Premier's Awards

Mr. Tezera Ketema
MrTezera Ketema, a member of the Regional Leather Sector Core Team and a Canadian National of Ethiopian origin, is nominated for the Premier's Awards in “Business” in Ontario, Canada. The Premier's Awards honor the important social and economic contributions college graduates make to Ontario. The Awards were launched in 1992 by the College Compensation and Appointments Council to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario's college system of education. They hold the same distinction as the Order of Ontario.

Chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario's 24 colleges, candidates must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and significant contributions to their community. Each recipient receives a Premier's Award medal designed by sculptor Dora de Pédery-Hunt. A $5,000 bursary also is directed to the graduating college.

Mr Ketema’s achievements stated in his nomination biography shows that he is skilled shoemaker who watched Canada’s shoe industry die out and vowed to do better as an entrepreneur providing orthopedic services to an aging Canadian population dealing with foot ailments. Not only has his stylish orthopedic footwear won accolades for Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes, his current interest in 3-D foot mapping promises to reduce the cost of manufacturing custom-fit products, and raises the prospect of exports of Canadian-made shoes to China and India, among other markets. Mr. Ketema credits his small business training and mentorship provided by Centennial College for his upward business trajectory. His motto: persistence and focus.

Mr Tezera Ketema is currently owning a footwear factory in Ethiopia and is also a member of the Core Team of  COMESA/Leather and Leather Products Institute.
COMESA/LLPI congratulates Mr Ketema for his Meritorious Achievements.

Ban on the Export of Live Animals Welcomed

The Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), appreciated the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet of Pakistan to impose ban on the export of live animals with effect from October 1, 2013 and termed it encouraging and beneficial for the leather industry.
COMESA-LLPI also would like to see similar move in its member countries so that, the value-added leather industry and allied industry can fetch more foreign exchange for the countries and ensure availability of raw hides and skins for the tanning industry in the region.

Figure I: Range of Products from Cattle, with Export Values per Animal. Courtesy of Walker et al 2013
A world away: Four decades after their first mission to Kenya, Wisconsin men revisit African country to advise struggling leather industry.

Wiegand, left, and Roemer, right, reunited in Kenya with Jackson Sigolia, who was their cook when they lived in Kenya in the 1970s.
Earlier this year, the two men returned to Kenya through CNFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program to help Kenya’s struggling leather industry assess its environmental risks and improve worker safety. When CNFA approached Wiegand about going to Kenya, he immediately thought of inviting Roemer, who’s also active in international rural development.

The men spent about two weeks in May working with the leather industry in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi on environmental risk assessment, through the Kenya Leather Development Council.
Kenya’s leather industry includes eight tanneries and represents 4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in agriculture, Wiegand said.

He said Kenya only produces 6 percent of the shoes sold within its borders. Most Kenyans buy cheap, plastic shoes from China instead of locally made leather shoes, but the leather industry is trying to capture more of the Kenyan market, particularly among youths.

Most of the hides processed in Kenya are exported to China and India, where labor is cheaper. Kenya’s tanning industry has dwindled since the 1990s, when there were about 18 government-supported tanneries, Wiegand said. Deregulation removed industry protections and trade barriers, opening Kenya’s markets to cheap imports from China and elsewhere. “They’re trying to come back from that,” he said. “The leather council has persuaded the government to impose a tariff on exporting hides.”

While Wiegand and Roemer were supposed to work with nomadic tribes, much of their time actually was spent with dealers who buy hides from slaughterhouses and farmers and negotiate to sell them to tanneries. They visited two tanneries, where hides are processed to a specific thickness and quality to be made into items such as purses and shoes.

Wiegand worked with tanneries on issues related to the environment, effluent, air quality, zoning and solid waste, while Roemer focused on worker safety. They also visited a leather-maker training institute, shoe factory and retailer. “We saw it from beginning to end,” Roemer said.
To preserve leather, many tanneries have shifted from bark extract to chromium sulfate — a cheaper alternative but a carcinogen and potential environmental threat.
“Economically, it was an excellent change,” Wiegand said, “but not environmentally.”

Many tanneries have installed settling and filtration ponds to dispose of their chemical waste, Roemer said. “They were trying.” Chromium sulfate also presents a worker safety issue, as many tannery workers don’t wear protective clothing. Most hides come from cattle, sheep and goats, but the Kenyans also use skins from other animals such as camels, fish and crocodiles.

Wildlife preservation has come a long way in recent years in Kenya, the men said. People realize the value of their natural resources, in part because of their contribution to the tourism industry.

Roemer and Wiegand view the Farmer-to-Farmer program, which is bid on by various organizations doing development work throughout the globe, as a tremendous opportunity.
“It’s for farmers, but not many farmers do this. Extension people love it,” Wiegand said.
The CNFA, which works to stimulate economic growth and improve rural livelihoods in the developing world via private-sector empowerment, had a five-year bid to work in eastern and southern Africa.

Ethiopian Shoes Carve out a Niche in Yemen


With sweat beads on his head, Adel Abdu, an Ethiopian-native living in Yemen sorts his large stock of new footwear in his small shop near the intersection of Hadda Street and Zubairi in Sana’a.
Next to his shop, there are dozens of other shops near this busy commercial center, selling Ethiopian-made footwear just like Abdu. As Abdu sees it, he and his neighboring vendors are offering a “high quality product at a reasonable price.”
Their product is unique in Yemen they say, where a demand for cheap sneakers made in China seems to be growing and although the vendors say business could be better, they are trying to build a customer following.  
The footwear in these shops is distinguished by its natural leather, a product well-known in Ethiopia thanks to its large wealth of livestock and animal husbandry.  According to statistics compiled by Ethiopia’s government, there are a combined 90 million cattle, sheep and goats in the country. Historically, leather has been a major source of income in the country. In addition to its manufactured footwear, the country is also famed for its leather jackets, coats, bags, belts and wallets.
Although animal rights groups have criticized consumers for encouraging the global trade of leather, countries like Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia and India all import the raw product from Ethiopia
A worker in one of the cluster of footwear shops, said more and more Yemenis are buying from him, not just the nearby Ethiopian community that frequents the area due to its proximity to the Ethiopian restaurants and the country’s embassy.
“I have had Yemenis customers for more than eight years,” he said. Both men and women run the small stores that offer everything from sandals to dress shoes to women’s fashion styles.   It isn’t hard to see the pride the shoe vendors take in selling a product from their home country, saying it rivals global brands. 
 “Most of our customers return to us to thank us for the quality of our goods and to buy more products again,” said a 40-year-old shop owner Mutahar Al-Hijazi while sitting in front of his stock of shoes as traditional Ethiopian music plays in the background.
Hussein imports his footwear from major Ethiopian manufacturers that were established during Italy’s brief occupation of the country between 1936- 1941. 
A Yemeni taxi driver, Anwar Al-Haidari, started buying the Ethiopian footwear a while ago and is now hooked.
“I used to buy shoes manufactured in China that would only last for two or three months, but I’ve bought Ethiopian ones that have lasted many more months,” he said. “The price difference between them is not that big despite differences in the quality.”
But Abdu and other Ethiopian sellers’ goal of really branding themselves in Yemen hasn’t quite taken off yet. They hope their business will grow even though they know they are up against a globalized market with international brands backed by huge marketing campaigns. But, the vendors say they will let the shoes speak for themselves.  
 “When people hear about Ethiopian footwear they don’t believe in its quality, but when they use it, they realize its uniqueness,” said a customer, Mohammed Al-Hababi.

Part II: Some Indicative Prices of Leather and Leather Products

Product name


USD/sqft fob/ori/c/off




full aniline







Semi aniline and golf leather







Resin lining






Fully finished Cow upper leather

TR (i/iv)





aniline lining









Suspension dried hides

Weight/pce 8/12  lb

2.80 nominal


iv grade

2.20  nominal


v grade

1.75  nominal

Wetsalted hides (Kenya)






Wetblue hides



Sqft/pce =av 23/27



av 31/33



av 20/26




vii or rejects



t/r iv/v









Wetblue goats


USD/dzn fob/ori/c/off

sqft/dzn 55/60



sqft/dzn 70/75



sqft/dzn 55/60



sqft/dzn 40/50








USD/kg cfr/ori/c/off

Kg/pce, 14/16


1.65-1.68 cfr/ori/c

Suspension dried goatskins  Lb/100 pcs, 90/100


42.00 cfr/ori/c/off

Drysalted hides kg/pce, 9/+ av 10/11






Drysalted hides,  kg/pce,  av 10/11


USD/kg cfr/ori/c/off




Kg/pce in wetblue (pressed)


USD/pce cif/t/c/off













Source: Compiled from Sauer Report and other sources
a/b/c; Private quality indication by supplier; 'a' is not necessarily 1st grade, etc
Av: Average
c: cash payment
cif: Cost, Insurance & Freight
fob: Free On Board
off: Offered
ori: Price payable to supplier in country of origin of the goods
pce : Piece
sqft: Square Feet
t: Price Payable to Traders outside the country of origin of the goods

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