Stakeholders in the leather industry are holding a three day workshop in Bulawayo aimed at enhancing financial partnership for stimulating and resuscitating the industry.
In 2000 the leather industry in Zimbabwe produced 17 million pairs of leather shoes annually and had a vibrant leather industry comprised of highly skilled SME’s including livestock farmers, hides collectors and tanners.
In 2011, shoe production plummeted to one million due to competition from lower quality imports and exports of hides and skins.
Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop being held in Bulawayo, the executive board chairperson of the Leather Institute of Zimbabwe Mr Cornelio Sunduza said in order to resuscitate the leather industry they need to revamp and boost production at existing companies.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo Cde Angeline Masuku said the resuscitation of the leather industry will benefit the primary producers, contribute positively to exports and also create employment.
The Leather Institute of Zimbabwe is planning to come up with a design studio with the main aim of improving the design for different leather products and introducing new styles.