Two different visions for African leather. The first is that of Zimbabwe, which has been looking forward to seal, on paper, a decade-long strategy to develop the segment. The second is that of Kenya, but the local operators fear that the activities implemented to grow the market will not take off.
Zimbabwe looks forward
On April 9th, 2021, the vice-president of Zimbabwe, Constantino Chiwenga, will present the new strategy to develop the leather chain. The long-awaited plan will last until 2030 and will be able to benefit from a 15 million USD financing package from COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa), which was provided for exactly this reason. According to what reported by bulawayo24.com, the Bulawayo industrial park will be at the center of this initiative. The idea is to cement the goal of creating a sustainable industry and push export values from 10% of the total to 40%. The plan will also be able to count on the manufacturers’ shared intents, proven and defined by the Zimbabwe Leather Collective.
Kenya has concerns
KLDC (Kenya Leather Development Council) spoke about the Machakos Leather Park, confirming that preparatory activities are continuing. In addition, it announced that local entities are approving and launching two bids to build 4 industrial warehouses. All that didn’t reassure the segment’s operators though, as they fear that the activities will take too long, as well believing that the financial support will be insufficient. This last concern would open the way to negative consequences. The project received about 9.3 million euro in funds, but the concern is that this amount won’t be enough and, unable to finish the current work, everything will come to a halt.