During visits to a leather tannery and an agro-industrial park, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller highlighted the potential of the leather and agro-processing sectors to transform Ethiopia’s economy.
Leather has long been a mainstay of the country’s economy and, with technical assistance from UNIDO, the productivity and quality of leather produced has greatly increased. Revenue from the export of mainly finished leather rose to US23m. in 2013 and to US133m. in 2018. However the biggest and, as yet, unrealized advantage lies in the production, in Ethiopia itself, of leather goods such as shoes, gloves, handbags, luggage, garments, and horse saddles and harnesses.
On a visit to the Colba tannery in the town of Modjo, 40 or so miles south-east of Addis, Director General Müller spoke to Ayele Dejene, general manager of Colba Tannery Plc, about the leather tanning process and ways to make it less damaging to the environment.