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Opportunities in leather and footwear exporting
The Durban Edge and Sector Development Programmes, in partnership with the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (SAFLEC) hosted a webinar workshop on 31 March, discussing the Footwear and Leather Africa Strategy, and opportunities for footwear and leather exporting in Africa.
The EThekwini Footwear and Leather Cluster (EFLC) formerly known as EThekwini Export Programme (EEP) is a frontrunner in the delivery of targeted and relevant programmes that has enabled networking, skills development and technology transfer, world class manufacturing, design skills and environmental manufacturing practices, market access and  trade missions - all of which have fostered growth, and business stability for the footwear and leather industry even during the Covid-19 economy. Through the EFLC a market access strategy for eThekwini manufacturers to enter the African continent for export opportunities was developed and is known as the African Strategy.
The seminar, which was “attended” by over 35 footwear and leather manufacturers, presented strategies and discussed some of the challenges and successes of exporting into Africa. The seminar also introduced the industry to a Demand Side Modelling Tool that is operated by the Trade Advisory and how this can be accessed and used via the City’s partnership as eThekwini and the Cluster via SAFLEC, in devising firm-level export strategies into Africa.
Programme Manager for the Footwear and Leather Development Programme, Anasuyah Pather said the Sector Development Programmes Department of the Economic Development is there to guide, support and develop market intelligence, strategies and open networking opportunities to take advantage of new market development.
“This growth in exports will positively expand production capacity, and ultimately provide greater job opportunities for our citizens, investment, revenue and GDP growth, and ultimately positively impact  and contribute to  the vision of Africa's most liveable southern gateway for trade and travel, “ she added.
SAFLEC’s Executive Director, Nerisha Jairaj said current exporters advised that those exporters wanting to expand into the continent need to be prepared for the largely informal market.
The City, through its partnership with SAFLEC is committed to addressing footwear and leather exporters' desire for more information on trade opportunities and export potential.
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