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Malawi Leather Industry Stakeholders Forge Ahead with Strategic Plan Development

Stakeholders from Malawi’s public and private sectors convened for a two-day strategic workshop in Blantyre on March 12-13, 2024. 

The gathering, facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Malawi, was focused on crafting a national Strategic Workplan to advance the implementation of the Regional Leather Value Chain Model Policy Framework.

The workshop drew attention to the immense potential of the leather value chain in the SADC region, aligning with the broader objectives of promoting industrialization and regional integration. Malawi, boasting a significant portion of the region’s goat population and witnessing steady growth in its cattle population, stands poised to capitalize on this potential.

Ms. Gladys Chimpokosera, Deputy Director of Industry at Malawi’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the alignment of the workshop with Malawi’s Vision 2063. She underscored the critical role of the leather sector in the country’s economic development, citing its cultural significance and potential for entrepreneurship.

While acknowledging stakeholders’ efforts to enhance capacity in the sector, Ms. Chimpokosera also highlighted challenges such as lack of innovation and technological barriers hindering quality production. She stressed the importance of reorienting the education system toward modern knowledge economies to meet the sector’s skills needs and enhance global competitiveness.

Mr. Calicious Tutalife, Senior Programme Officer for Value Chains at the SADC Secretariat, expressed gratitude to the Government of Malawi and other SADC Member States for their commitment to domesticating the Regional Leather Value Chain Model Policy. 

He emphasized the need for open discussions to ensure alignment between regional and national interests, urging stakeholders to actively contribute to the development of a national Strategic Workplan.

The workshop, made possible through a financing agreement between the SADC Secretariat and the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund, signifies a concerted effort to drive sustainable growth and development in Malawi’s leather industry. 

As stakeholders collaborate to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities, the stage is set for the sector to flourish, benefiting both Malawi and the wider SADC region.

Additional source: SADC Secretariat

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