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Local leather goods to capture int’l eye at Bole airport

Ethiopian leather goods visibility receives a boost to the international eye as leather products are handed booths at one of the busiest terminals in Africa, Bole International Airport.
Through the initiative of the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA) and the Leather and Leather Products Industry and Research Development Centre, local leather goods manufacturers have got the chance to promote Ethiopian products that has become popular in African markets, as it continues to be exported throughout the world.
Mohammed Hussein, head of Leather and Leather Products Industry and Research Development Center, a government body responsible on follow up of the sector, said the eight companies have got their booth at the airport, “the initiative is crucial to promote Ethiopian leather products besides a service like gift shops.”
He told Capital that the association is responsible in selecting the companies and management of the overall initiative.
It can be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came up with the idea to connect the Ethiopian Airlines potential with other economic values. For instance, through similar initiative city tour and other tourism destination visit have been linked for transit passengers through the tourism package, ET Holiday service of the airlines.
Using the terminal to promote Ethiopian services and goods is also another idea initiated by the PM.
Bole International Airport, which is also managed by Ethiopian Airlines, has a capacity to accommodate over 22 million travelers per annum that makes the facility as one of the busiest terminal in the continent.
Experts said that the idea to promote Ethiopian goods at the facility is a perfect market besides generating foreign currency from gift sales.
So far the leather shops being opened in the facility will come from different levels and will present their prominent brands to capitalize on the opportunity.
A couple of decades back, leather and leather goods were one of the major sources of hard currency which have now been replaced by horticulture.
The changing behavior of the global market for alternative items like synthetic goods including for the footwear industry has been stated as one of the challenges for the traditional leather goods businesses.
Currently, the government has given keen attention for the sector development mainly to replace the import, which consumes not less than USD 400 million annually.
Through the new initiative of import substitution, the local leather goods manufacturers are able to benefit from the supply in the school system scheme, military and other public entities that have huge demand for leather goods.
Regarding quality production, the sector has been able to reel in successes.
Ethiopia has three internationally certified leather sector laboratories, which are crucial to supply globally competitive goods for the export market.


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