unctad.org | National stakeholders in Ethiopia propose actions to improve environmental performance and strengthen export capacity of national sesame and leather producers
National stakeholders in Ethiopia propose actions to improve environmental performance and strengthen export capacity of national sesame and leather producers
18 April 2017
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Key Issues


​National action plans for two of Ethiopia’s main exports - sesame and leather products - were formulated by over 40 national stakeholders in the Second National Stakeholder Workshop of Ethiopia’s National Green Export Review (NGER) project. The NGER aimed at developing recommendations and a national action plan for the sesame and leather products sectors.

UNCTAD and the Ministry of Trade’s Export Promotion Directorate jointly organized the workshop for producers, associations, and government officials working to improve the performance of these sectors. The workshop, chaired by Mr Assefa Mulugeta, Director-General of the Ministry’s Export Promotion Directorate, was convened in Addis Ababa on 18 April 2017.

After reviewing detailed studies prepared and presented by the NGER National Experts, Ms Haimanot Tibebu, Director of the Ministry’s Export Research & Promotion Directorate (sesame products) and Mr Tewodros G/Mariam, Senior Expert at the Export Research & Promotion Directorate (leather products), stakeholders participated in interactive plenary and working group discussions which refined and elaborated upon actions proposed by the National Experts for consideration by the group.

In the following weeks, committees comprising policy-makers and other stakeholders will be established by the Ministry of Trade to consider the results of the workshop for formal adoption and support.

Among others, key actions proposed by national stakeholders at the workshop included:

  • Building more integrated production schemes encompassing the entire value chain from production to export, with an emphasis of building stronger product links between producers, processors and exporters, including through the introduction of improved market information services.
  • Enhancing land usage potential enabling producers to expand production levels.
  • Introducing improved sesame seed varieties and small-scale irrigation schemes, and expanding storage and transport capacity, to boost productivity and production levels of sesame farmers.
  • Diversifying export destinations to reduce reliance of exporters on a limited number of final markets, and in this way to stabilize fluctuations in year-to-year export volumes.
  • Modernizing leather production using newer technologies whose adoption will be facilitated through government financing mechanisms designed for small, medium and large tanneries.
  • Introducing measures to decouple leather production potential from meat production levels, including by increasing meat consumption and export.
  • Enhancing producers' access to standards and environmentally sustainable certification schemes to improve quality and export potential of sesame and leather products.

In closing the workshop, Mr Assefa Mulugeta informed stakeholders that their inputs were carefully recorded and that they would be considered by national policymakers and other stakeholders, including many present at the workshop, that will be participating in committee consultations organized by the Ministry. In addition, Mr Robert Hamwey, Economic Affairs Officer of UNCTAD, noted that results of Ethiopia’s NGER project would be published by UNCTAD and presented by the project’s National Experts at an intergovernmental expert meeting that will be convened in Geneva in 2018.

Mr Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD: Robert.Hamwey@unctad.org
Related Sites:

 Trade and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development


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