Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Minister champions leather industry revival

Minister champions leather industry revival


Cde Angeline Masuku

Cde Angeline Masuku

Prince Sunduzani, Business Reporter
URGENT measures are needed to capacitate key industries and enterprises to unlock the country’s economic potential, the Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Angeline Masuku, has said.

Speaking during a workshop organised by the Leather Institute of Zimbabwe and Homelink Finance in Bulawayo on Monday, the minister said funding of enterprises was essential for industrial growth.

She called on the financial services sector to be proactive and come up with finance solutions for the leather industry as it has potential to employ many people and add to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Funding of enterprises is an essential component of enabling industry to flourish and we look forward to the success of these efforts to bring together the financial services sector together with the leather sector for the revival of the historical powerhouse sectors in Bulawayo province,” said Masuku.

“The stimulation of the leather industry will result in the revival of a sustainable industry that contributes meaningfully to the country’s GDP. Let us not wait for Government to do things for us but let’s embrace the new way of doing business by taking initiatives, which the Government can support.”

The leather industry, which was one of the most thriving industries in the country, is currently operating below capacity due to a myriad of constraints ranging from lack of capital, obsolete technology and competition from cheap imports.

Leather Institute of Zimbabwe chairperson, Mr Cornelio Sunduza, said the industry was now on its knees and called on critical players such as Government and the private sector to join hands and assist surviving operators in coming up with a solution.

He said if revived, the leather industry has the capacity to supply the Sadc and Comesa regions with leather products at a cheaper price and grow the industry’s market share in the region.

“At the moment the industry is almost shut, we are almost at a standstill. We need to negotiate a financial package to revive the leather sector. We need to engage with the private sector and Government to come up with a revival plan,” Mr Sunduza said.

“We need to expose the industry to Sadc and Comesa to access more than 600 million people. Sadc has a huge amount of shoes that are coming into it from outside Africa. We are also capable of supplying those shoes much cheaper if we play our cards right”.

During the meeting, Homelink Finance announced a package of $15 million towards capacitating the leather sector. The leather industry is a crucial component of the country’s value addition and beneficiation thrust. The revival of the livestock sector under the command model is also expected to add impetus to the leather value chain. — @PrinceNkosy102


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