UNIDO propels Ethiopian leather industry to new milestones
For more than three decades, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) closely collaborated with private and public partners to develop the Ethiopian leather industry in order to capitalize on the country’s vast raw material and employment potential. With time, the partners’ interventions moved upstream towards increasing value addition, including promoting innovative models in entrepreneurship.
Within this context, UNIDO Representative and Director of the Regional Hub in Ethiopia Aurelia Patrizia Calabrò – together with Director General of the Federal Small and Medium Manufacturing Industry Development Agency Asfaw Abebe, AUCCommissioner for Trade and Industry Ambassador Albert Muchanga and Director of the Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Tiberio Chiari – inaugurated the common production facility for footwear at the Ethio-International Footwear Cluster Cooperative Society (EIFCCOS), marking yet another milestone for the leather cluster.
“Over the last two years, we provided support to over 400 SMEs which employ 3,800 staff in the cluster”, said Calabro. “The establishment of the common leather production line for footwear is an important step to scale up EIFCCOS, as it will increase the cluster’s productivity and efficiency thereby creating up to 150 new skilled jobs opportunities for manufacturing quality leather shoes in the first year of operations”.
UNIDO’s activities in support of the leather industry are well embedded within the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP), which is under implementation for the last four years.
Overall, the organization actively contributes to the implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), in line with the Accelerated Industrial Development for Africa Agenda (AIDA) and the AU Agenda 2063: Africa we want, where emphasis is put on value addition, SMEs development and job creation for young women and men.