Press Release 2008
American and Ethiopian Partners Dedicate Refurbished Abadir Primary School in Addis Ababa
Friday, October 3, 2008 Addis Ababa (U.S. Embassy)
At a fashion trade show in New York this September, top international retailers, including Barneys New York, ordered more than 500 products from the Ethiopian leather goods and textiles consortium. Taytu, a consortium of twelve leather, leather product and hand-woven folkloric textile-producing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participated in the Designers and Agents International Fashion Trade Show in New York, September 13-15, with support from USAID's Agribusiness and Trade Expansion Program (ATEP). At the New York show, an unprecedented number of retail outlets and prestigious department stores visited the Taytu stand. Barneys New York ordered 240 leather bags from Taytu, marking a milestone in the consortium's growth. Nine additional stores from the United States, one from South Korea and one from Japan confirmed orders for a total of 240 more items.
USAID's ATEP supports Ethiopian efforts to maximize export earnings from priority sectors like the leather industry. Over the last two years, USAID's ATEP and UNIDO have actively supported Taytu's participation in high end trade shows in Europe and the United States. This participation has helped the consortium earn more than U.S. $50,000 in sample orders from the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan and lead to regular export engagements for the consortium's member SMEs. USAID support has also helped build Taytu's capacity through professional development of staff and the establishment of a modern showcase and retail outlet in the Dembel City Center in October 2007. Through this retail outlet, Taytu has sold more than U.S. $50,000 of products locally.
Taytu's products incorporate unique designs inspired by age-old Ethiopian traditions with the superb quality of Ethiopian leather and indigenous workmanship of the SMEs' artisans. Initially supported by UNIDO and ITC, Taytu was formed five years ago to market its members’ leather and textile products to high-end Western markets. USAID's ATEP joined UNIDO in 2007 to support the consortium's institutional capacity building and marketing activities of the consortium. The international support for this group of Ethiopian companies has contributed to an encouraging upturn in sales that signals Ethiopian products' potential to compete in the international high fashion market.
For further information, media should contact:
USAID Agribusiness and Trade Expansion Program
4th Floor, Ki-ab Building, Alexander Pushkin Street
P.O.Box 70696, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: 011-3720060 Fax: 011-3720102