Leather Industry Development Institute Working Towards Enhancing Import Substitution, Export Earnings


Addis Ababa February 19/2014/ENA/ The Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) revealed that it is working to strengthen the manufacturing industry in Ethiopia with a view to substituting the importation of leather products and enhance export earnings.

Ethiopia has the largest livestock populations in Africa and amongst the top three in the world. However, due to lack of proper utilization it still imports leather products.

LIDI Director-General, Dagnachew Shiferaw, told ENA that the institute is working to increase the capacity of manufacturing industries in Ethiopia to improve the quality and productivity of leather, hide, and skin products so as to save foreign currency.

Some 1 billion USD worth leather products are imported through legal and illegal ways every year, he stated, adding that works are underway to increase the quality and productivity of domestic leather products and substitute imports.

“Due attention is given to reduce importing leather products and enhance export. Leather products such as footwear, bags and automobile furniture worth 1 billion USD are imported every year through legal and illegal channels,” he said.

Furthermore, Dagnachew pointed out that COVID-19 has posed market destination problems for the domestic leather products and increasing the quality of products and boosting productivity is being done to revive the industry.

According to him, quality footwear  have currently been produced in the country for the national defense and bags for students.  

“Domestic demand for footwear and bags is booming and we are producing up to 30 percent and will certainly increase. The project of footwear provision for schools in Addis Ababa has already started in 2013 Ethiopian budget year with 700,000 pairs of shoes under affordable price. This needs to scale up to national level to address over 30 million students,” the Director-General stated.

Managing Director of Solget Leather,  Solomon Getu said that measures being taken by the government of Ethiopia to curb the challenges of the leather industry are showing encouraging results.

The quality and standard of hide and skin as well as COVID-19 pandemic are amongst the challenges that caused a slowed-down market for the products of the leather industry, he added.

Solomon pointed out that technical and financial support from the government is pivotal in order to enhance the global competitiveness of the domestic products.

The government has already started supporting the industry, he stated, adding that it should be further strengthened.

Ethiopian News Agency