The new project will be done with assistance of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), which has released about $15m USD funding to Zimbabwe to capacitate industrial operations under the leather sector value chain.
Through its specialised unit, the Africa Leather and Leather products (ALLPI), Comesa is working closely with the Government to facilitate the development of the Zimbabwe leather value chain. The efforts are aimed at operationalising the Zimbabwe Satellite Design studio to be located at the Zimbabwe Leather institute (LIZ) in Bulawayo.
The revival of the leather sector is being guided by the new Zimbabwe Leather Sector Strategy (2021-2030), which was officially launched in Bulawayo by Vice-President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga, last Friday.
“Working with Comesa, the Government has earmarked the establishment of a satellite design studio for leather products at the Leather Institute of Zimbabwe (LIZ)),” said Dr Chiwenga in his keynote address.
“I am very pleased to let you know that through our engagements with Comesa, we have received $15m USD to capacitate the leather industry and the leather value chain and this will be implemented through close collaboration with the Bulawayo Leather Institute,” said Dr Nzenza in a recent update in Parliament.
The leather sector is already positioning itself for the expanded market under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which came into force in January this year.
Among its objectives, the new strategy seeks to increase capacity utilisation of value-added products from 30% to 75% by the end of 2030, enhance the application of sustainable production technologies by manufacturing companies from the current 10% to 60% by 2030 and increasing the export of leather products from 10% of production to 40%.