Last year, leather exports accounted for $123 million in revenue for Ethiopia’s leather industry. Now the government wants the industry to garner $500 million, according to CCTV Africa. While the country’s exports aren’t largely value-added products, the overabundance of livestock in Ethiopia is enough to balance trade.
Tsahi Gebremariam, one leather producer, told CCTV Africa that although business and the overall industry is picking up, a lack of skilled professionals can sometimes be a hurdle.
“Most of our customers are foreigners. Our leather products are better than those of previous years in terms of quality — but still we have a big challenge that is in the inadequacy of trained and knowledgeable workers,” he said.
According to an earlier report by CNN, sheep skin is what will bump up the global leather industry edge for Ethiopia. The UK is already deeply invested in the industry which experienced heightened revenue through a 1989 government ban on raw hide and skin exports.