Zambian Leather Cluster certified
Chingola Leather Cluster in Zambia has been awarded a Standards certificate by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS). This means that the cluster’s products have attained the stipulated standards and can now compete at the national and international markets.
The certificate was handed over to the Chingola Cluster by the Coordinator of the COMESA Adjustment Facility/Regional Integration Support Mechanism (CAF/RISM) programme, Ms. Hope Situmbeko during a monitoring mission.
The cluster was supported under CAF/RISM programme funded by the European Union. Under the support, members of the cluster received training in diverse skills including production, design and business management.
Chairperson of the cluster Margaret Foloshi appreciated the support which led to the ZABS Certification stating that her organization will now embark on mass production of leather products as the certificate had opened a wider market.
“We can now compete with other sector players in the country and beyond,” Ms Foloshi said.
The cluster also expects to receive enhanced business from the Konkola Copper Mines according to the Manager in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility, Brian Siatubi.
Ms. Situmbeko who led a COMESA monitoring and evaluation team encouraged the cluster to take advantage of the COVID 19 situation and produce school shoes for the Zambian market. She noted that with most borders still closed, imports for leather products had dwindled hence placing the leather clusters in the country at a position to produce and supply the growing local demand.
“Work together and ensure you at least satisfy the Chingola demand for school shoes because the borders are closed and there are very little imports for the leather products,” she said.
The COMESA team also visited Chisokone Leather Cluster in Kitwe, which specializes in the production of security and safety boots for various companies on the Zambian Copperbelt.