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Ethiopian Leather Industries Association and Leather Industry Development Institute launched the 6th edition of All African Leather Fair (AALF) that would be held from February 20-22, 2013 at the Millennium Hall. Over 200 exhibitors from 43 countries have already been registered for the event.
At a press conference held on February 14 at the Hilton Addis, organizers have stated their speculation that the AALF 2013 will be visited by more than 2,000 visitors from 22 countries. “Registration will be available until the eve of the actual event, and we expect many more to join us,” said Solomon Getu, Board Chairman of the ELIA.
Most of the participants are expected to be  international buyers and sellers of leather and leather products, chemicals suppliers, leather machinery suppliers, supplier of accessories and components of footwear, expertise training institutions and international communication companies affiliated with the industry.
Launched on January 2008 by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, AALF is aimed at promoting the country’s leather and leather products and creating export market linkage to avail a favorable condition that would enable products to find extensive market share worldwide.
Even though the country has improved the industry over the years, much more should be done so as to tap the immense unexploited potential the country has, according to Wondu Legesse, Director General of the LIDI.  
This event will highly contribute to the efforts of boosting the production of leather and leather products, according to Wondu, as it comprises side events, including a fashion show and workshops related to technology transfer. The workshops will help the industry by lecturing ways to be competent in the international market. “There are regulations that should be followed to get into the European market and different workshops that focus on how to fulfill the requirements will be held,” he said. 
He also mentioned that a very big team supported by the India Export Council is joining the event. “The team is organized from producers of inputs for the leather industry including accessories and components,” he said. The Director General is optimistic that this team will fill the gap on the lack of accessories and components for a very limited number of companies producing them in the country. “ELIA will sign a memorandum of understanding to work with them on technology transfer.” 
Currently, the Ethiopian leather industry stands at a stage where value added products including finished leather, footwear, gloves and other leather goods, are produced and exported by local and international investors to more than forty destinations internationally.