"Empowering African Leather Entrepreneurs through COMSec/ALLPI Regional Design Studio Initiative!"


The global leather value stands at US 120 Billion with Africa earning a paltry 4% of the total. This dismal performance is associated with very low-value addition of its raw material and high losses experienced in its supply chain which is estimated at slightly over 30%.

Design studios will shift the focus to the upper-value chain stratum and effectively enhance a higher trickling down effect to all the stakeholders in the leather sector. This success is potentially assured through well-established partnerships that could enhance value addition, reduction of losses in the supply chain, and overall wealth creation.

COMSec's partnership with ALLPI have attained quick gains as some member States and private sectors from the region have overwhelmingly registered their confidence and provided support to the concept of a Regional Design Studio.

Unanimously member States in COMESA identified ALLPI as the host of the Design Studio with Satellite Studio established in each participating member States.

The COMSec LLPI Design Studio come into operation with the official launching made on May 9, 2016 by Hon. Adan Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Republic of Kenya and H.E. Sinduso Ngwegna, Secretary-General of COMESA.


The COMSecLLPI Regional Design Studio will guide by relentless focus towards innovation, competitiveness and product design to enter regional and global market in transforming the leather sector in Africa.


COMSecLLPI Regional Design Studio to be Africa's pride that nurture innovation, transformative perception and deliver leather products sustainably to the global market.


The main objectives of the regional (leather) design studio (R(L)DS) are:

1. To investigate thoroughly and systematically the causes underlying the weaknesses of the leather industry in the Eastern and Southern Africa region to access and compete with differentiation in the global markets;

2. To explore the ways in which the industry in this region could invest in competitiveness and innovation to fulfill its potential as a key source of productive employment of the region, internationally recognizable and a reliable source of leather and leather products. 

3. To incentivize local development of trend informed product design capability; development processes, emergence of informed (by trends research efforts in foreign markets) cluster ecosystem.

4. To continually use contemporary market knowledge to evolve a leather industry led design strategy for the region. 

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states. It is home to 2.2 billion citizens, of which over 60% are under the age of 30. The Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, spanning five regions. Thirty-one of its members are small states, many of them island nations.

Commonwealth countries are supported by an active network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

Its guiding principles are contained in the Commonwealth Charter

See more at


Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) was chartered in 1990, with the endorsement of 17 COMESA Heads of State. ALLPI’s main Mandate is to support the development of the leather sector in the Region. Over the years the Institution has created strong strategic linkages with Public and Private Sector Institutions in member countries. In addition to this, ALLPI has signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with global institutions, in its pursuit to improve competitiveness of the leather sector in Africa in line with global dynamics. 

ALLPI is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and currently its membership encompasses ten African countries, namely Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Institute has short term plans to expand its operations to Swaziland, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Madagascar. 

The location of its office is strategic, as Addis Ababa is the capital city of Africa, where the African Union and other International Development Partners are located. Furthermore, Addis Ababa is the African gateway to any global destination, which makes ALLPI highly accessible and convenient for our regional and international partners and clients.

The Institute has celebrated its 25th Year of Anniversary last November 2015 with the presence of former ALLPI Directors and Member States' representatives.


 RDS Panel