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World Bank funding will help Ethiopia’s leather sector improve quality

The World Bank has approved new credit of $50 million for a project that will help Ethiopia improve the competitiveness of its industries. The money will support wider efforts that the government in Addis Ababa is making to improve aspects such as inspection, testing, standards, certification and accreditation among manufacturers in Ethiopia.

There will be a specific focus on three value chains that are, according to the World Bank, key to the government’s industrial policy to increase its export base. The three sectors are: leather and leather products; textiles and garments; and processed agricultural products.

On announcing the funding, the World Bank said the project will help manufacturers in Ethiopia expand into new markets because they will be able to give higher levels of assurance about the quality of the products and services they offer.

It should also encourage investors to upgrade their operations in Ethiopia to be able to meet market requirements imposed by trading partners, consumers, and regulatory authorities, the World Bank said.

The organisation added: “This is particularly important for Ethiopian manufacturers who are currently facing a number of challenges in meeting quality requirements needed to access developed markets such as the United States, European Union, and Asia, which require stricter quality checks and standards than the prevailing domestic ones.” Its country manager in Ethiopia, Carolyn Turk, commented that a lack of quality checks has become a bottle-neck for the manufacturing sector “to grow to its full potential”.

Image shows the Pittards Products Manufacturing finished leather products factory in Addis Ababa.

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