According to Presto Viswano, coordinator of the Copperbelt Leather Industry Cluster, the machines much needed to boost production are already very expensive to buy and the high taxes applied when they enter the country are making medium and small companies struggle economically.

He claims that other countries have enabled the leather industry to prosper by giving incentives to local footwear manufacturers and producers but this has not been the case in Zambia. Waiving tax on imported machines, equipments and chemicals for the leather sector “will greatly help in the growth of the leather sector in Zambia. We are using very old machines which are not meant for leather production,” precises Viswano.

“The current trend of exporting raw materials for manufacturing leather products is retrogressive as Zambia is supposed to be using materials to produce footwear and other products for export rather than relying on imported finished goods,” he adds.

The representatives also express their desire to see the establishment of training and educational institutions specifically for the leather sector to promote innovation and skills.

Source: Zambia Daily News