Around 49 international companies joined 147 local companies for the eighth edition of All African Leather Fair in Addis Ababa, February 20-22. However, ILM understands that from one international exhibitor the fair was quiet and a number of non-leather related businesses were allowed to exhibit at the show.

The exhibition was held at Millennium Hall and is organised by the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA). The association is a non-profit trade association which promotes the export of leather, shoes and leather goods and garments as well as protecting the rights of its members with an aim to enhance the leather industry in Ethiopia.

Exhibitors at the 8th edition included tanners, footwear, chemical and machinery suppliers. There was a large presence of Turkish companies at the show (26), and a number of local businesses showcased locally produced wallets, belts, purses, gloves and footwear. The AALF is really an opportunity to access the Ethiopian market rather than a pan-African leather industry trade event which was the original concept of the fair.

The exhibition was open by Tadesse Haile, Ethiopian State Minister of Industry. During the opening he stated that the fair would serve as a bridge to create a network between buyers, manufactures and potential investors. The leather industry is one of the top priority sectors in the eyes’ of the government as it can create a sector linkage, he said. The leather sector is one of the eight priority sectors outlined by the Ethiopian government in its Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), from which the government aims to collect half a billion dollars in export revenue at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year.