Uganda loses about sh 1trillon annually in leather sector exports due to inefficiencies, Makerere University Don Prof John Kabasa has said.
Speaking at inter-university conference on leather and leather products at Kyambogo University, Kabasa said despite the huge demand for leather products on global scale Uganda still hovers behind in leather exports and lacks capacity to increase production and technology to compete with the rest of the world.
He proposed upgrade in leather curriculum to enable youth embrace new technologies to provide innovative and creative industry.
The conference whose theme is: emerging technologies and innovations for sustainable leather sector development in Africa has been organised to show case available leather products,platform for policy reviews and curriculum development.
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde pledged to review industrial and national leather and leather products policy 2015 to speed up sector development and enhance youth innovations into leather industry.
She however discouraged players in the industry to desist from exporting raw materials. Currently the demand for leather, leather products and footwear in the world is nearly $215billion as per 2018.The exports of semi processed leather from Uganda recorded were approximately $54billion in 2017.
Kyambadde cautioned leather players to embrace value addition to address sector challenges for example improving on quality of fas hides and skin reaching the tanning industry.
She also advised them to increase exports and marketing of value added leather products.
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