A three-day long workshop organised by the Center for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Tanners Association (ETA) was held at the Imperial Hotel in December 2001. The workshop was aimed at facilitating the development of leather industries in Ethiopia.

Workshop participants raised different problems that the leather industry faces, including skin disease among sheep and goats, lack of proper handling of raw materials, shortage of qualified slaughterhouses and problems with the law regarding livestock.

The poor handling methods applied by butchers, from slaughtering and preservation to storage and transportation, have also played a major role in weakening the sector.

‘Training should be given about preparing hides and skins’, they said.

The poorly designed regulation on livestock should also be revised, according to the participants.

Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, secretary general of the Confederation of the National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community (Cotance), said the leather industry is experiencing ecological pressures which are likely to increase in the future.

‘Leather is required to be produced in an environmentally and socially sound fashion, and to be technically suitable and safe during use’, he said.

Quijano told Addis Tribune that Ethiopian leather industries should overcome their challenges and work with global tanning industries. They need to be competitive and alert in following the world trade order, he said.

Source: Daily Addis Tribune, Addis Ababa