Addis Ababa — The Leather Industry Development Institute of Ethiopia has launched training course in leather and leather products in eight technical and vocational training colleges this academic year.
Ministry of Industry Corporate Communication Director Berhanu Serjebo said the training was launched in colleges in Oromia State and Addis Ababa City Administration.
"The training is aimed at producing trained and skilled professionals within the leather sector and to modernize its processing techniques," Berhanu indicated.
Over 60 and five students are currently pursuing their studies for their first and second degrees respectively in the leather sector at the Addis Ababa University and India's Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), he said.
Berhanu added selected students will soon travel to India to attend their third degree education on the basis of the mutual cooperation agreement reached between the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology and CLRI.
India's Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) has agreed recently to train some 30 professionals in second and five professionals in third degrees, he indicated.
According to the Director, the technological cooperation with CLRI would enable to fully utilize the raw materials available in the country, thus contributing for the national economy.
Ethiopia has the largest resource of livestock in Africa which can serve as a reliable source of raw materials for the leather sector. However, the country is not benefitting what it deserves from the sector, he said.
In order to enhance the income from the leather sector, Ethiopia has banned the export of crusted leather as of December, 2011.
"The income earned from leather export has shown a significant improvement following the ban imposed on the export of raw hides and skins," he said.
Ethiopia earned over 112.1 million USD from the export of leather and leather products during last Ethiopian budget year, Berhanu said.