Uganda hides and skins are naturally of high quality, high texture and heavy substance which are suitable for the production of excellent heavy upper and vegetable tanned sole leather. On average, a Ugandan hide weighs 16kgs and has 29ft2 of which about 15-20 percent can be used for upholstery, making Uganda the only country in East Africa with larger quantities of hides that are suitable for upholstery.
However, over the years, Uganda’s leather exports have been classified as semi-processed or raw leather and Uganda’s leather processing industries have operated below capacity which renders Uganda’s leather sector less competitive in the regional and global markets.
The absence of an up to standard leather factory has fuelled the importation of cheap and synthetic products which has frustrated efforts by the footwear factories in Uganda. Uganda’s potential earnings strand at USD 273.9 million annually but the country only earns USD 46 million equivalent to 12 times less than the potential earnings from the sector.