Sudan has signed a grant agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s (COMESA) Adjustment Facility (CAF) that will see the country receive 2.9 million Euros between 2016 and 2017 to harness its export potential.
The funds will also go towards facilitating the building of capabilities to effectively implement and monitor COMESA’s regional programmes.
COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said, “The project particularly aims to strengthen capacities of national and private institutions to achieve regional integration in enhancing livestock and leather sector value chain; implementing and monitoring the regional commitments by the national inter-ministerial coordinating committee; and enhancing capacities of the Sudanese Business and Employers Federation to meet export requirements.”
The project will also help enhance trade facilitation and support services in other sectors; and provide support to the private sector in food safety management and traceability systems.
Sudan’s Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali said the country is ready to move its integration agenda forward singling out the Leather Design Studio (LDS), an initiative expected to create hundreds of jobs.
“We are pleased with this gesture because we know that it will help not only the government but all those involved in the leather value chain and we know that a lot of people shall benefit from this venture,” Ali said.
The LDS will accelerate value addition to the abundant livestock industry in Sudan and the region.
Ngwenya noted: “Through the support of the COMESA Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI), the LDS project will contribute to the establishment of the Leather City in ElGaily Industrial Area in Khartoum and facilitate the implementation of the Sudan Leather Value chain strategy.”
This will be attained through the strengthening of the Kerari Vocational Training Center which is envisaged to become a Satellite Design Studio for the COMESA region.
COMESA is an expanded free-trade zone with twenty member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland.
The Studio will help provide artisanal skills and design training for the production of high-end leather goods, improving entry of the region’s leather products into global markets.
The funds which are provided by the European Union under the ninth and 10th European Development Fund (EDF) are in addition to a similar facility of 1.2 million Euros signed in May 2015.
This post first appeared HERE