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East Africa focus on development of leather and textiles sector

East Africa aims at developing a strong textile and leather sector. Priority is being given to the development of a competitive domestic textile and leather sector that can provide affordable clothes and leather products in the region.

Rwanda has already launched a multi-agency task force to embark on a training program targeting local factories and small and medium enterprises in leather processing. The country wants manufacturers to adopt cleaner production technologies.

Business within the East African Community is expected to grow with a reduction in the cost of power, transport, labor and interest rates. The aim is to improve the livelihoods of millions of people across East Africa. Countries in the region have agreed on a phase-out plan and an eventual ban on the imports of used clothes and leather products to support industrialisation and job creation. Textile industry players are being encouraged to start making garments that require basic level technology and skills. Regional sector players have been called in to put in place programs that will help stimulate a localised value chain.

Tanzania plans to boost cotton exports. Emphasis has been laid on the region’s cotton industry, which faces huge challenges including low yields, a low ginning out-turn ratio and inefficient value addition which is affecting its competitiveness.