Vice President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga is expected to officially launch The Zimbabwe Leather Sector Strategy (2021-2030) this Friday in Bulawayo.
Last year, government approved the new Zimbabwe Leather Sector Strategy in November as a response to stakeholders’ request to transform Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) leather value chain from the production and trading of raw materials towards the production and trading of value added products.
According to a draft programme provided by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to local publication, Dr Chiwenga will lead the official launch while Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza and the Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Judith Ncube, will also be part of the launch.
The Zimbabwe leather sector has potential to set the country on a positive path towards sustainable economic growth, employment generation and poverty reduction.
The Zimbabwe Leather Strategy (2012-2017) paved way for this coming 2021-2030 Strategy and revealed that the leather sector in Africa used to dominate the global market, with some countries being awarded first franchise to manufacture Nike products and other international brands such Adidas, Puma and North Star.
The strategy further stated that, until 2000, Zimbabwe used to produce more than 17 million pairs of shoes per annum, of which 4 million pairs had leather uppers. However, by 2011, shoe production had plummeted to 1 million pairs per annum.
The Zimbabwe Leather Strategy (2021-2030) therefore seeks to restore life of the leather sector in Zimbabwe.
In a bid to transform the leather sector COMESA established a specialised unit, the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI).
Through this agency, COMESA has been rolling out a regional leather industry capacity building initiative guided by its 2016-2025 Strategic Plan.
According ALLPI, the global estimated trade value of the leather sector is over US$130 billion a year, which is six times the value of trade in meat, and this figure continues to grow.
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