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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Tanzania: Unido Footwear Initiative - a New Success Story for Neglected Industry

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 > 11:16:01

(All Africa)

A NEW e-learning training programme for local footwear producers is making the difference to the footwear industry after it has led to significant quality improvement and increased sales of leather products in the local market.

The programme supported by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is run by the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Mwanza branch in collaboration with Leather Association of Tanzania.

"The e-learning has made a difference. Many of our people were already making shoes, but without the technical knowledge they have now.

The course made an instant, positive impact on the quality of their production," the head of DIT Mwanza branch, Dr Albert Mmari said. Dr Albert Mmari said the programme had increased prospects for a brighter future of the leather industry in Tanzania that has not made optimal use of its huge potential.

He said in interview that the focus for the time being was to capture the local market which is flooded by cheap substandard imports.

They have also earmarked European and US market in the future. "Right now our focus is the local market. However we are earmarking the foreign market in the future," he told Tanzania has the third largest livestock number in Africa, but its leather industry is far from making optimal use of its huge potential.

Low investments in value addition in the leather industry have been denying the nation earnings where around 90 per cent of exports in the sector are raw hides and skin.

Dr Mmari said the prospects for more sales and even exports of leather products were higher now after tremendous improvement of the products through the programme.

He said tourists were buying Masai beaded leather sandals from local artisanal producers and take them to Europe where they attract more than 20 times higher prices.

He said the UNIDo programme has contributed to an increase in confidence by the local footwear producers who opened a pavilion at the Dar es Salaam International Trade fair to display their designs to local and foreign traders. According to him, orders were increased by 20 and 30 per cent.

He further noted the window of opportunities for local footwear producers had increased with the Ministry of Industry and Trade setting up a loan programme for small and medium entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.

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