Can Africa Become a Leather Powerhouse? ALLPI Conducts Workshop on Cluster Development in Kenya

A five-day workshop in Nairobi led by ALLPI wrapped up, aiming to empower African nations to develop leather industry clusters
Can Africa Become a Leather Powerhouse? ALLPI Conducts Workshop on Cluster Development in Kenya

A five-day workshop focused on cluster development in Africa’s leather industry concluded on 7 June, 2024 in Nairobi, organized by the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI). The event drew government officials, private sector partners, and industry stakeholders from ALLPI member states.

The workshop aimed to enhance the capacity of member states to design, manage, and implement clusters to drive economic growth and innovation in the leather sector. Comprehensive sessions covered stakeholder engagement, governance, strategic planning, and business plan formulation. Expert presentations on successful cluster case studies provided practical insights.

The Kenyan delegation highlighted the importance of quality standards within clusters, focusing on development, review, and certifications to increase market access, export volumes, job creation, improved livelihoods, GDP growth, and sustainable practices.

In his closing address, Nobby Macharia, Kenya’s Industrialisation Secretary, praised participants and reiterated Kenya’s commitment to fostering initiatives that drive industrialization and economic development. He outlined proactive measures by the Kenyan government to support the leather sector, including reducing shoe importation and establishing standards for local manufacturers.

Macharia also addressed challenges faced by MSMEs in the leather industry, such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable financing, and the need for enhanced technical skills and market information. He emphasized that effective cluster formation and management are crucial to overcoming these obstacles and boosting competitiveness.

The workshop introduced tools for monitoring and evaluating cluster activities, including project evaluation questionnaires, performance metrics, and dashboards. These tools will help participants objectively assess the effectiveness of their cluster initiatives.

Macharia announced future steps, including diagnostic assessments and digitized planning and implementation tools. He underscored the role of organized clusters in attracting support and reducing transaction costs.

ALLPI Executive Director Nicholas Mudungwe expressed gratitude to the Kenyan government and participants, emphasizing ongoing collaboration to advance the leather sector across Africa.

As the workshop concludes, participants leave with comprehensive business plans and strategic frameworks ready for implementation. The momentum gained promises to translate into tangible and sustainable economic growth, marking a new era for Africa’s leather industry.

News covered by https://www.kbc.co.ke/kenya-leads-the-charge-in-transforming-africas-leather-industry/

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