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The University of Northampton stated its interest and willingness to help in providing trainings for the leather industry of Ethiopia, in particular and Africa in general.
One of the leading universities in the world on the subject, held its first-ever workshop in Ethiopia, on management development, for  representatives of various companies in Ethiopia. This was done in conjunction with Pittards Plc, the UK-based leather and leather products manufacturing company, which owns Ethiopian Tannery. Attendees of the workshop comprised of representatives from the Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI), Pittards, Ethiopian Tannery, Nyota Minerals Limited, Diageo and Hilton Hotel. “Initially, we speculated that 15 to 20 participants will attend. But the workshop has been attended by 34 people from the few companies we approached while planning to hold the workshop,” said Reg Hankey, Chief Executive of Pittards Plc. 
The workshop, though, was not all bout leather as people from other industries attended the management development lecture on communication, differentiation between management and leadership, team development, innovation and change.
Famous for its leather technology and leather science, the university will hold a series of workshops to address not only because there is the need for it, but also because of the excellent response from Ethiopian companies.
The three-day long workshop which started on 10th January, 2013, would enable the strengthening of a work force able to accommodate modern economic infrastructure, as it would help attendees to understand effective leadership and management along with efficient communication. “Understanding effective leadership and management and effective communication thereof, is a key and critical success factor in turning Ethiopia into a power house,” said Ian Books (Dr.), Executive Dean- Northampton Business School (NBS) and University Internationalization at the Northampton University. “That is what we are preparing here”.
The University is discussing with LIDI, Pittards and the Minister of Industry (MoI) how it can interact with the highest level of the leather industry to combine both its leather technology capability and its management and leadership capability so that it can seek to transform the fortunes of the leather industry in Ethiopia, the four delegates from the university informed Capital. “The Industry is already robust, but we can transform its future, by helping it become a global brand of high quality,” they said.
Pittards has been a very large skin buyer from Ethiopia. It now employs about 1150 people with a plan to exceed this number to 6,000 in five years. “We want to grow along with the country,” said Hankey.