From May 31 – June 2, the Hub will host a pavilion at the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) to showcase Ethiopia’s strength in footwear manufacturing. Ethiopia has a developed leather industry that makes the country a significant shoe producer and the top African exporter of shoes to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The goal of the Hub's participation at FFANY is to increase Ethiopia's exports to the U.S. through AGOA.
“We have six key factories that are a good representation of Ethiopia shoe-making capabilities that can compete not only in the U.S. but around the world,” said Jordan Saliman, Hub’s Footwear Export Advisor.
Saliman says the investments in developing, teaching and training workers are evident in the final product. “We have come a long way… but, like any business, have to be fully involved,” he said.
Below, Saliman shares the need-to-know facts about sourcing in Ethiopia and why it is the right time for U.S. brands to consider the country.
Why is it a good time for the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub to focus on footwear, and particularly the U.S.?
Saliman: The Hub is involved in all aspects of economic development for East Africa based out of Kenya. Our responsibility is to develop export and trading opportunities for Africa and our international partners, build opportunities for employment in our trade and development sectors…especially leather and footwear.