Session 4 panellists from left to right, Mr. Yigzaw Assefa, H.E. Mr. Taddese Haile, Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Mr. Michael Hailu and Mr. Opender Kumar Kaul.

With an annual production of 5 million tons of hides, 8.1 million tons of sheepskin and 7.5 million tons of goatskin, Ethiopia has a comparative advantage in the leather industry. There are ample opportunities for investment in tanning, up to the finishing and manufacturing of luggage items, handbags, saddlery and harness, footwear, garments and other leather goods.

Over the past few years, the Government has improved the policy environment for the livestock value chain, from skins and hides to leather products for domestic and export markets. In this session, government officials and private sector representatives discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by the sector.

yt - logo Watch: Modjo Leather City. An Inclusive and Sustainable Leather District


Michael Hailu is the Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), a role he has held since May 2010. Prior to joining the CTA, he held senior leadership positions at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and at the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia. He has degrees from the Universit... Read More


Tadesse Haile is the State Minister for the Minister of Industry of Ethiopia. Prior to his current role, he served as the State Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2010, as General Manager of the Ethiopian Investment Agency from 1995 to 2001, and as Head of the Tigray Regional Planning and Economic Development Bureau from 19... Read More

Yigzaw Assefa is the President of the Leather and Leather Products Industry Association of Ethiopia. He has more than 20 years of work experience as an administration department Head and as Manager of the Awash, Addis and Modjo tanneries. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from the Kaplan University, United States. ... Read More

Opender Kumar Kaul is the General Manager of George Shoe Plc., Ethiopia. Prior to this role, he was General Manager and Chief Executive Officer for Ethiopian operations at George Shoe Corporation Taiwan in 2013. From 2008 to 2012, he worked in international trading operations of Tata International, for steel, minerals, chemicals, construction machi... Read More

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is Founder and Managing Director of soleRebels, the world’s fastestgrowing African footwear brand and world’s first Fair Trade-certified footwear company. Growing up in a poor suburb of Addis Ababa, Bethlehem decided that there was only one way to defeat poverty – use local craftsmanship to make products that can compete in ... Read More