Venue: Haile Resort, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Date: 16th – 18th December 2020

Theme: “Transitioning Africa’s SMEs to Digital Economy by Skills Portability, Technology Adoption and Diffusion!”

Rationale and Objectives of the Consultative Forum:

The scope of the 2020 Consultative Forum is guided by specific objectives that are to:

  • Create opportunity to share the national and regional leather sector success stories (Promote cross fertilization of success models);
  • Build consensus towards innovation, quality assurance and their importance for export readiness in reference to recent events;
  • Share research undertakings by identified players at regional and global level;
  • Identify the key challenges and interventions towards achieving sustainable regional leather sector development;
  • Enhance the leather tanning industry sustainable production processes, consumption and eco-entrepreneurship;
  • Design potential pathway to capacity building and technology transfer from national, regional and global perspectives.
  • Discuss the new Strategic Direction of ALLPI being Knowledge based Institution.

Collaborative Research Abstracts

  • Innovation Diffusion Technology (IDT)/Technology Adoption Model (TAM) Integrated Model for understanding perceptual factors influencing Clean Technology adoption and diffusion of academic staff and student’s higher education Institutions related to the le

    Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, Africa Leather and Leather Product Institute (ALLPI)
    Viola Manokore, University of Liverpool (UoL)
    Julie-Anne Regan, University of Liverpool (UoL)


    In dealing with the academic staff and students drawn from the higher education institutions related to the Leather Value Chain (LVC), theories which were considered earlier as classical but since has undergone transformation overtime and found to be ideal for the study.  The basis of focusing with the academic community identified was an initiative towards ascertaining their perceptual orientation as a key player in the LVC, to evaluate the status of preparedness towards technology adoption and diffusion a diagnostic an integrated Technical Adoption Model (TAM) and the innovation diffusion theory (IDT), to analyze the individual academic community perspectives at academic staff and student levels. The framework of TAM/IDF integrated model reported in this study depicts the historical progranulins of the models, analyses the demographic trend and evaluates five open questions that were aligned to the open questions during the survey. The purpose is to explore and understand how the two critical factions of the academic community associated with higher education namely; the academic staff and students from two universities and four technical colleges/vocational centers in Kenya effect technology adoption and diffusion in the LVC in Kenya. and examine; Firstly, examine ‘individual factors’ of the academic community by asking the individual groups to outline factors considered important for the academia group in assisting the Leather Value Chain. Secondly, evaluate the, ‘product factor’, by engaging with the academic community to identify factors they deemed critical to enhancing the LVC competitive advantage when adopting clean technology. Thirdly, the academic community perceptions were analyzed through an ‘interface factors’ question. that explored policy aspects, that strengthened the clean technology adoption and diffusion of clean technology in the leather value aspects, that Adoption Model (TAM) as the aspects, that fourth factor to explore what limit’s the adoption and diffusion of clean technology along the leather value chain. Indeed, all the four factors provided insights on the important factors through the lens of the academia community to determine the impeding factors of technology adoption and diffusion that would enhance the LVC   attain transformation and innovativeness in Kenya.  The results of the our factors were diverse om identifying importance on the different aspects of technology adoption and diffusion. For example, under individual factors, students (41.76%) choose HE, Researchers (27.3%) identified HE and socioeconomic factors as pertinent, Administrators (35.5%) considered Gobernment policies as core and Trainers (31.07%) deemed HE as most pertinent driver to the technology adoption and diffusion in the leather value chain in Kenya.

     Key words: Academic Community, Higher Education, Leather Value Chain, Clean technology adoption; technology acceptance model (TAM); innovation diffusion theory (IDT); structural equation model.

  • The determinants of the leather technology adoption by artisan/SMEs in the leather footwear and leather goods manufacturing in Kenya

    Douglas Onyancha1*, Solomon Mutinda2 Janet Mesa1 and Peter Muchiri   
    1School of Science, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Private Bag, Nyeri, Kenya
    2School of Engineering, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Private Bag, Nyeri, Kenya


    Leather is a natural material made from skins and hides of animals. Leather is used in the manufacture of consumer goods and products such as footwear, handbags, wallets, belts, gloves, upholstery, automotive seats and interiors among others. The global value of leather is over US$ 100 billion and over 50% of this is contributed by footwear. Globally footwear and leather goods manufacturing employs many people and generate a lot of wealth. Kenya has huge resource of hides and skins but has remained marginal players in the global arena. This has been attributed to low value addition to the raw material and high export of semi-processed leather. The manufacturing of finished products (Footwear and leather goods) is dominated by SMEs and their output is low and of poor quality.  This has led to low demand of their products and also poor penetration of international market hence fetching little to the manufactures. The low production and poor quality has been attributed to use of low level/outdated technologies and poor inputs. The purpose of this study was to explore the level of leather technology adoption and determine the factors influencing its adoption among the SMEs/Artisans in Kenya and propose the possible mitigations to solve the challenges. The study also looked at the quality of the products produced by SMEs. The study was carried out using, secondary data; questionnaires, field visits and laboratory analysis. The findings showed that none of the SMEs/ Artisans had adopted the soft technology and only 6% were using hard technology. Major challenges for technology adoption sited were: lack of capital/finances, unavailability of technical skills, top management commitments and competition.  The analysis of the products sampled from the SMES revealed that none of them passed the KEBS standards. This implies that the quality of the products is wanting and needs improvement.  Based on the outcome on the challenge on technology adoption, proposals on intervention measures include; provision/access to cheap loans, tax exemption on leather machinery, introduction of leather related courses in the local training institutes, sensitizing SMEs on the importance of standards and quality control measures during manufacturing.

  • Studying Design Related Challenges of Ethiopian Leather Footwear Manufacturing Industry and Possible Areas of Intervention


    The Ethiopian Leather footwear industry has grown within the past few years owing to the strategic support and attention provided by the government. On the fact that, the industry is labor-intensive and has export potential granted special attention. The footwear sector, however, is not yet able to develop in an expected manner. Previous studies on Ethiopian leather footwear industries shows that the performance of Footwear exports is unsatisfactory and also faces some difficulties. According to UNIDO Independent Evaluation Report major problems occurring in the leather footwear industry include a shortage of raw materials (processed leather), lack of skilled labor, design weaknesses (Difficult to compete with the sophisticated and fast-changing design of goods), and difficult access to export markets. This indicates that the manufacturing performance is low, and an improvement is a highly required. Different studies also suggest that design improvement is positive and significantly correlated with the performance of the industry requiring special attention.

    The current study aims to understand design-related challenges faced by footwear manufacturing industry in Ethiopia and pinpoint possible areas of improvement that can enhance the performance of industries. Firm-level data was collected from selected footwear manufacturing industries through structured questioner distributed to the management team and designers. Further, customer surveys are being collected to better understand customer’s perceptions of the design and aesthetics of domestic footwear products. Preliminary results suggest the Ethiopian footwear industry faces a lack of competitiveness in the design of shoes, where customers have a negative association towards the design of products. Further, the skill level of designers has been widely discussed requiring intensive training in the area of new product development, trend study, fashion forecasting, and software-based design. The results of this study are expected to improve the performance and competitiveness of the Ethiopian footwear industry by solving problems associated with product design.

    Key words: Leather, footwear industry, competitiveness, performance, design, customers

Consultative Forum 2020 Comments

  • Mayeso Msokera, Ministry of Trade, Malawi

    Prof. Mwinikione Mwinyihija,

    Many thanks for the email and the letter of appreciation.

    I wish to take a moment to congratulate you and the entire ALLPI Team for successfully hosting the 14th Regional Consultative forum 2020 amidst the Covid 19 situation. I have participated in not less than 5 Annual Regional Consultative Forums now and I must say that each one has been fabulous in its own way due to the professionalism with which ALLPI organize and execute them under your able and dynamic leadership.

    The Forum discussions have been extremely helpful to my work and applicable to different situations that come knocking at my office door. Accordingly, I must say, I have personally grown in confidence, in ability, and understanding of the Leather Sector dynamics as a result of the same.

    It has always been a pleasure being part of the ALLPI family.

    Thank you and best wishes for the festive holidays and the coming new year.

    Kind Regards,

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