"Malawi lost its only leather footwear plant in the mid-nineties. Since then, most of its hides and skins have been exported in raw or semi-processed state. Now, thanks to the EU, the country has a modern footwear factory capable of producing up to 600 pairs of shoes a day. Says Crispin Amasi, the head of the Leather Design Studio. Malawi imported USD10 million (about MK7.3 billion) worth of footwear and other leather products in 2016 alone. Therefore the establishment of the Leather Design Studio will help save Malawi's forex reserves and create employment along the entire leather product value chain. Local craftsmen will be able to use their skills to produce more competitively, local farmers will be able to sell their hides to the Leather Design Studio craftsmen, while other players will be able to get involved in buying, selling, marketing, and exporting.
All in all, this will enable local businesses to flourish. It’s a blessing that the EU has helped us in this manner."