Malawi setting up K250 million leather design studio

Post was last updated: May 31, 2018

Government is in the process of setting up a K250 million state-of-the-art leather design studio which will be used to produce leather materials.

The studio is being constructed with funding from the European Union through the Malawi Enterprise Productivity Enhancement (Mepe) project under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Mepe project is under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Regional Integration Support Mechanism initiative.

It encourages small scale entrepreneurs within the bloc to work in cooperatives in the textile, oil seeds and leather sectors.

Ministry of Industry and Trade publicist, Wiskes Mkombezi, the studio is being set up at Kameza in Blantyre.

“The installation of the studio in Kameza at [Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute] Smedi office premises is almost complete and we expect those in the leather industry to start using it soon,” he said.

The studio is earmarked to influence productivity and marketability of regional leather products at the global level, where the leather value chain is estimated at more than $100 billion.

Mkombezi said the Mepe project would have a positive impact on the local industry.

He said local cooperatives under the project have already acquired special skills, enabling them to produce high quality products.

“Value addition is the major difference with the cooperatives that we have,” he said.

One of the cooperatives’ members, Maxiano Zembeni, of Kamwendo Cooking Oil Cooperative in Mchinji, said working in groups has proven effective for their business growth.

He said, through the Mepe project, they were able to produce high quality products sold on the local market.

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