Leather and Leather Products Institute

Member of: IULTCS    International Council of Tanners    

Leather for Health, Wealth and Luxury

ZimTrade engages leather expert

ZimTrade has engaged a senior PUM Leather and Textile expert to conduct a scoping exercise of the leather sector in Zimbabwe. The expert, Dutch national, Hans Akkerman has over 40 years’ experience in advising manufacturers in the EU and South America on Strategy, Organisation, Marketing and Technology. He will be engaging more than 20 manufactures of leather products and footwear in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Marondera and Kadoma.The engagements are aimed at identifying ways to improve the operational efficiency of these manufacturers thereby repositioning the sector as a key player in exports. This will be achieved through knowledge transfer from the PUM experts in designing, cutting, stitching/assembling, finishing, product mix, costing, factory layout, as well as recommendations based on best practice.

The Leather and Leather Products Sector has been identified by Government as one of the priority sectors with quick wins as it has a great potential for value addition. In 2012, a 5-year leather sector strategy was launched with the main objective of reviving the leather sector into a vibrant industry that contributes to the nation’s economy through value addition.

The strategy identified the need to improve value addition and output through technical training, which is fulfilled by such initiatives as the PUM assistance.

SMES in the sector formed clusters to better co-ordinate production and marketing. The clusters members, in Bulawayo and Harare have been facilitated by ZimTrade to participate at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and at Source Africa in South Africa. COMESA also facilitated some members to participate at the Zambia International Trade Fair in 2015.

According to the Trade map, global imports of leather products and footwear in 2015 increased by 7 percent from $123 billion in 2011 to $132 billion, with handbags and leather seats increasing by 33 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Zimbabwe’s exports of footwear increased from $1,3 million in 2011 to $2 million in 2015. Exports of handbags also increased from $75 000 in 2011 to $102 000 in 2014. Zimbabwe was the first country in Africa to be awarded the franchise to manufacture brands like Nike, Adidas, Bubblegummers, North Star, Power and Puma. With appropriate technical intervention, the industry can regain lost market share and once again meaningfully contribute to global leather products and footwear trade.

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