The Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMEDI) on Thursday launched Leather industries association of Malawi (LIAMA).
Mwanamvekha officially launch the Leather Industry Association of Malawi workshopat Capital Hotel in Lilongwe-CStanley-Makutih Speaking during the launching ceremony at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, SMEDI board chairperson Dr Betty Chinyamunyamu said the leather industry in the countryhas been lacking behind due to working in isolation hence the formation of the association so that theycan work as a team.
According to the chairperson this development will help in producing high and quality standard products that would not only compete locally but also internationally.“
We have good raw materials, the problem is that we do not have that capacity to produce high quality product that can compete on the international market. By working and putting those small resources together it would enable us achieve a lot,” said Chinyamunyamu.She further said that the formation of the association has already won the interest of Common Market for Southern Africa (COMESA) to help in growing the leather industry in the country.“
The potential is there for the leather industry, and as SMEDI we are trying to reorganize the industry to add value to raw hides so that we can generate employment and much required forex,” explained Chinyamunyamu.In his remarks, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism who was also the guest of honor Joseph Mwanamvekha said this association is important as members of the leather industry will be more organised.“This will address to assist on the issue of governance in thesector, getting trainings and share ideas besides facilitating the chances of getting loans from the banks,”said Mwanamvekha.He added that government through COMESA has organised training with the COMESA Leather product institute.
The program already started with some members and the skills gained at the training will be able to produce high quality standards products that would see Malawi develop economically.The association so far has 280 members in the country.