The leather and footwear industry in Rwanda has got a boost with the establishment of a Leather Community Processing Centre (CPC) with technical cooperation from the Government of Italy.
Last year, the Governments of Rwanda and Italy signed an agreement for technical and financial cooperation for establishment, organization and installation of a production and training laboratory for the leather and footwear goods industry in the CPC of Gatsibo district in Rwanda’s Eastern Province.
Accordingly, a new leather CPC has been inaugurated in Gatsibo, which the Italian partners have equipped with 24 machines, according to a press release from Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The CPC will mainly serve to transfer and apply advanced Italian technologies and know-how to the Rwandan local industry in terms of development of new product designs, training on new product development and other technical services and technologies in the local footwear and tannery industry.
The CPC is currently hosting artisans’ trainings on production of footwear and leather products, supervised by Dr. Sergio La Verghetta, expert from the Italian Trade Commission.
Rwandan Minister of Trade François Kanimba, who visited the CPC, said the CPC is designed to provide facilities for producers at the community level to engage in value-added processing of raw materials without bearing the total cost of the machinery and technology required for the processing.
“CPCs will act as demonstration units in fostering value addition, innovation and technology transfer”, the Minister noted, and called upon leather artisans to take full advantage of the training offered by the Italian coach.
Once exposed to the CPC, entrepreneurs will go back and apply a similar model in their respective businesses.
Currently the Center is being managed by “Star Leather Company” comprised by the Business Development Fund (BDF) as a quasi-equity shareholder and Rwandan Artisans in the Leather Sector.
To connect manufacturers and suppliers with buying houses and fashion brands, Fibre2fashion.com is coming up with an online fair on Leather “Skin Show 2014” scheduled in Mid March-2014.