A leather and leather products manufacturer in Rwanda is aiming to help the country reduce its import bill by buying hides from local producers, reports Leatherbiz.
The company, Kigali Leather, is owned by two Chinese businessmen. It constructed a manufacturing plant in Rwanda’s Bugesera district in 2014 and began making finished leather in 2016.
It produces between four and five tonnes of finished leather per day, but the facility has the capacity to make up to 20 tonnes per day.
In an interview with local media, Kigali Leather’s managing director, Yung Wang, said the company is happy to purchase hides from local producers.
The company also manufactures between 200 and 300 pairs of shoe each day. Mr Yung said Kigali Leather will invest a further USD2 million in the factory in 2018. This will allow it to acquire machinery to make other leather products including handbags and furniture.
Annet Karenzi, the director general for industry and SMEs and entrepreneurship at Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, praised the investment that has been made by Kigali Leather. She said it is good for the national leather industry when companies invest in processing operations.
"Value addition definitely makes a whole lot of difference as finished products fetch more revenue. The small artisans that make shoes and other leather items can also now access processed leather easily," she added.