The Grant Titled: "Structured design training for regional leather and leather products SMEs in leather products design, craftsmanship and export readiness" which funded by the USAID-EATIH was implemented by the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) (by then COMESA/LLPI) starting from June 2017. The project was a fixed value grant with a ceiling of USD. 112,703.00 in accordance with Schedule of Milestones and Payments upon the submission of evidence that a milestone has been achieved or completed.
The Project had a goal of designing a world-class tailor-made curriculum that responded to the needs of the target market, developing the capacity of the SMEs to make high quality and globally competitive products and developing the capacity of the SMEs to participate in regional and international markets.
In line with the scope of the project, ALLPI implemented the following set of activities which had a strong logical fit with the objectives and goal of the project: Mobilize stakeholders and focal points in Member States, Profile SMEs and Analyze Samples, hold a participatory Regional Workshop, Design the Curriculum, Hold the training workshop in Addis Ababa, SMEs to participate in regional and international Fairs/Trade Missions, Effective Regional and National Monitoring.
The project involved a total of 25 SMEs from four countries- Burundi (5), Rwanda (5), Tanzania (5) and Uganda (10) out of which 9 (36%) were ladies and the remaining 16 (64%) were males. In terms of Youth participation, 12 (48%) of the participants were the Youth group (which is age below 35 years) and the remaining 13(52%) were in the adult group. Structured questionnaire was used to select participants in the project objectively.
Key Accomplishments and Results
The key accomplishments of the project were informed by the activities which were implemented, details of accomplishment are elaborated below and linked to the activities that contributed to that achievement:
- Mobilized focal institutions in the four countries and signed MoUs with Focal Points from Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda;
- Developed a selection criteria that was used in the selection of SMEs that were included in the training program;
- Profiled around 80 SMEs which led to the selection of 20 SMEs who then became the focus of the project (the target number was later raised to 25, as the host country for training was allocated 10 slots instead of 5) .
- Developed a world class comprehensive and practical curriculum on international leather design, craftsmanship, designing for export and provide an understanding of the export with a particular focus on the AGOA market
- Conducted the training with the selected SMEs and identified partners.
- Identified at least 10 suitable export market opportunities for the SMEs participating in the program and establish market linkages for these SMEs.
- Conducted periodic follow up on each of the SMEs.
- Prepared a post event report on the training program; and
- Designed a market entry report, which was also used to train the SMEs, in enhancing their export strategies
SMEs Participation during the Origin Africa Trade Fair 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya