Overview of the sector
- The sector is one of the leading manufacturing sectors for Ethiopia.
- Currently, Ethiopia is exporting mainly finished leather followed by growing shoe exports. Other leather items including gloves, bags and small leather articles have a large potential for exponential growth.
- The recent expansion in leather gloves production is proof of existing capacity as well as the potential to export with a steady growth of volume and value.
- More than 75 domestic and foreign leather and leather product factories have invested in Ethiopia.
- Export of leather, which was US $ 23 million in 2013 reaches US $ 133 million in 2018.
Policy and Strategy
- In the GTP II, the leather sector export and employment target by 2020 is USD 800 million and 59,580, respectively,
- Since 2012, the government has discouraged export of hides and skins to boost exports of value-added products.
Key Reasons for Investing
- Ethiopia has a cattle population of more than 53 million, and sheep and goat population of 25.5 and 24.1 million, respectively. This makes Ethiopia the 1st from Africa and the 9th from the world in its cattle population which enable the country to have a strong raw material base for the leather industry.
- Only 50% of hides and skins potential are being utilized currently.
- Ethiopia has a potential for price competitive and quality supply of skins and hides: The Ethiopia highland sheepskins have got a worldwide reputation in terms of quality, thickness, flexibility, strength, compact structure, and a clean inner surface.
- Tanning of hides and skins up to finished level;
- Manufacturing of luggage (such as handbags), saddle and harness items, footwear, and garments; and
- Integrated tanning and manufacturing activities.
Sources: African Economic Outlook, 2014; Deloitte, “Ethiopia, a Growth Miracle,” 2014; Centre for Economic Policy Research, “PDL Research Note: The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain”, 2013; Leather International, “Japanese manufacturer in Ethiopia”, February 4, Leather International, “Japanese manufacturer in Ethiopia”, 5 February 2014.
Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations
P.O. Box 517
Tel: 251-11-551 8240
Fax: 251-11-551 7699
Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations
P.O. Box 2458
Tel: 251-11-552 8120
Fax: 251-11-551 1479
Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA)
P.O. Box 12898
Tel: +251-11-515 6144
Fax: +251-11-550 8935
Leather Industry Development Institute
Debrezeit Road - Addis Ababa
Tel. : +251-114 39 16 82
Fax : +251-11 439 22 59