Leather sector lacks skilled manpower’

ZAMBIA’S leather sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the economy if people in the industry are provided with the necessary skills and technical know-how, Copperbelt Leather Industry Cluster (CLIC) coordinator Preston Viswamo has said.
Mr Viswamo said it has been difficult for most small and medium-scale enterprises to venture in the sector because of lack of skills.
In an interview last week, Mr Viswamo said the influx of imported leather products has also negatively affected the growth of the sector.
“The cluster is providing training to SMEs due to the potential that the leathers sector has. We have an incubation were SMEs are taken up to a level where they are able to produce quality products on their own.
“We have also provided both technically and entrepreneurship skills to them,” he said.
He also said the organisation has embarked on campaign to change the perception that most people have preference for imported products and make customers to start appreciating local goods.
Mr Viswamo, however, said the CLIC intends to start exporting its products in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa region and beyond once it meets the local demand.
On the outlook, he said the prospects for leather sector is bright because people have the passion to see it create wealth and employment.

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