Zimbabwe leather sector players, based in Bulawayo, are seeking to use this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) to showcase their products and improve on quality standards while leveraging on feedback from the market to enhance exports.

“We expect to use the ZITF as a springboard to try and also be visible since we have been quiet for quite a long time. We would like to engage the market so that we supply what is wanted. We therefore want to use the opportunity presented by ZITF as a development agenda for our clusters through getting feedback from the market,” Bulawayo Leather Cluster secretary, Mr Fungai Zvinondiramba said.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bulawayo leather sector had secured markets in the region in countries such as Namibia, Zambia and Angola through participating at shows like the Zambia International Trade Fair in 2019 and Windhoek Industrial and Agricultural Show (WIAS) in Namibia. The Bulawayo Leather Cluster capacity has been boosted by the US$2 million funding availed by the African Development Bank under the Beef and Leather Value Chain Technical Assistance.

In Matabeleland North, Mr Zvinondiramba said they have 10 sub-clusters in areas such as Binga, Hwange, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Nkayi, Bubi and Umguza.

He said they were expecting to showcase their products at this year’s fair under a new normal following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, organisers of the trade fair, the ZITF Company have announced that 11 countries have so far confirmed their participation.

The countries are South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Angola, Belarus, Botswana, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria.