Magazine article International Trade Forum

African Leather Industry Meets in Casablanca

Magazine article International Trade Forum

African Leather Industry Meets in Casablanca

Article excerpt

Despite Africa's importance as a supplier of raw material, it accounts for less than 2% of the world's leather trade. ITC seeks to increase Africa's share, especially in the production and trade of finished leather goods, which accounts for over half the value of trade in the leather sector as a whole.

Opportunity to build skills and alliances

ITC's programme of technical assistance for the leather sector culminates every two years in an eight-day event called 'Meet in Africa'. The emphasis of the project, organized for members of the African leather sector, is on training, networking and marketing.

The second Meet in Africa, which registered close to 2,000 visitors from all over the world, was held in Casablanca, Morocco, from 25 September to 2 October 2000. At the event, 361 companies from 38 countries exhibited their products, and participated in conferences and seminars. In addition, ITC organized 750 one-to-one buyer/seller meetings to facilitate business negotiations between African enterprises and also with overseas companies active in the sector.

The event also saw the first General Assembly of the African Leather Federation (AFLAI), created as an ITC initiative at the first Meet in Africa event in Cape Town, South Africa, in November 1998.

The discrepancy between African leather production and trade

African share of total world production

5 % of bovine hides and skins

14% of goat and kid skins

9% 996 of sheep and lamb skins

African share of world trade

less than 2% in raw hides and skins

2% in leather and leather products

less than 196 in leather footwear and footwear with leather uppers

Leather has enormous potential in Africa

World trade in hides, skins, leather and leather products is larger than in better-known commodities such as rice or tea. …

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