Briefing the media, Ethiopia’s Trade and Industry State Minister Teka Gebreyesus said that the promising growth the country’s leather industry has experienced over the passed few years constitutes the competitive edge for the country to be chosen as the event's venue.

The state minister further stated that the trade fair and congress will avail a great opportunity to African leather goods manufacturers to penetrate the international market. The event will also provide opportunities for business to business networking among participants.

More than 5,000 participants drawn from 250 international leather goods manufacturing and exporting companies as well as researchers from over twenty countries are expected to take part in the event, Teka added.

As to him, the trade fair also seeks to create opportunities for the participants to share experiences, harness potentials and motivate new innovations, among others. Currently, the Ethiopian government is developing specialised Industrial Parks (IPs) for textiles and garments.

"Ethiopia plans to make Modjo town of Oromia State the hub for leather industry and envisions to attract anchor companies' involvement thereby transforming the town into one of the state- of-the- art tannery centres in Africa."

Advisor to African Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) Mekonnen Hailemariam (Professor) said for his part that the event will create the opportunity for enhanced research and development, technology transfer and innovation as well as marketing gateways to the African leather industry.

ALLPI is contributing its part towards the modernisation of Africa's leather industry through integrating latest technologies in the sector, he added.

Hailemariam highlighted that the conference and exhibition will deliberate on ways to enhance Africa's leather industry and forward possible solutions to ease the sector's bottlenecks.

Accordingly, expanding African leather products export destinations is the utmost priority of the fair and congress, it was learned.