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Tanzania plans to revive leather industry

Image © Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The East African country of Tanzania is looking to Egypt to help breath life into its tanning industry. According to minister for industries, trade and investment, Charles Mwijage, the strategy follows a meeting between presidents John Magufuli of Tanzania and Egypt's Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"We are looking to revive the defunct leather industries and establish new ones to process and utilise the millions of skins produced in Tanzania every year," said Mr Mwijage.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development, Tanzania has 23 million heads of cattle, 16 million goats, seven million sheep and two million pigs – the second-highest total in Africa after Ethiopia. Apparently the country imports up to 42,000 pairs of shoes from China and southeast Asia, but less than 3 per cent of these are said to be made from leather.

Mr Mwijage stated that a lack of investment in the leather industry has undermined production of leather products in Tanzania with thousands of tonnes of skins and hides being wasted there as a result of poor handling. Tanzania has eight small and medium-sized leather factories which are reportedly operating below capacity, in both the collection and processing of skins and raw hides.

Photograph above shows Government minister Charles Mwijage, who described plans to develop a strong tanning industry in Tanzania.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 2 of the April 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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