Protectionism may be effective, as long as you take advantage of it: Zimbabwe wastes 60% of raw hides

At least 60% of raw hides manufactured in Zimbabwe are bound to go rotten, as no export policies are carried out in the country and manufacturing industry does not keep up either. Hence LMAC, the livestock and meat national council, asked government to review tax on leather export. “Such duty was implemented to support domestic tanneries and foster finished leather export – points out an officer from LMAC before local press -, but Zimbabwe’s leather industry is suitably organised for manufacturing large hides, therefore there’s no demand for small and medium skins”. A few more clarifying data are provided by the national centre of Statistics: in the first eight months of 2017 Zimbabwe exported 900 tons of leather, yet annual productive capacity, with regard to raw hides, is about 5,000 tons. Protectionism in Zimbabwe is a long-standing problem. LMAC recommends two potential solutions: either a large-scale industrial investment plan, supported by public and private assets, to expand national leather manufacturing, or (simply) export re-opening.


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