Thirty (30) entrepreneurs from Rwanda, consisting of 10 females and 20 males, have completed a short-term training in Leather Products Manufacturing at Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Mwanza campus, thanks to the collaboration between the institute and Bazanomurimo Co. Ltd, a Rwandan leather processing company.
The training was a result of the nascent collaboration between DIT Mwanza Campus and Bazanomurimo Co. Ltd, initiated during “The 21st Eac Msmes Trade Fair” held in Mwanza, Tanzania. DIT Mwanza Campus actively took part in this exhibition, where they had the opportunity to meet Mr. Emmanuel Simugomwa, the CEO of A BAZANOMURIMO Co. LTD from Rwanda.
During the exhibition, Mr. Jackson Peter, an instructor from DIT, was highly impressed with the leather products showcased by Bazanomurimo Co. Ltd. Their range included shoes, wallets, and sandals. After a fruitful exchange of communication, both realized the potential for collaboration, particularly in addressing the challenges faced by their respective countries in the leather value chain.
Mr. Jackson Peter delivering a lecture on Basic Leather Goods Making to a class of 30 Rwandese in Kigali Rwanda
Mr. Simugomwa highlighted the lack of professional knowledge and skills in the production of leather products in Rwanda. He identified DIT Mwanza Campus as a potential trainer for his company employees and the wider Rwandan community. He believed that training skilled workers would enhance the production and quality of leather products, thus increasing income at both individual and national levels.
After several communication between Mr. Emmanuel’s company and DIT Mwanza Campus, an official letter was received in June 2023, requesting a short training course in leather product manufacturing. The Campus Director, Dr. Albert Mmari, gladly accepted the request, and preparations were made to send trainers to Rwanda. Mr. Jackson Peter, an instructor from the Department of Leather Products Technology, conducted the training on Basic Leather Goods Making in Kigali, Rwanda, from 10th to 24th June 2023.
Additionally, DIT Mwanza Campus collaborated with the Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind (MTIB) in Kenya to conduct another short course on Leather Football Making. Thirty-four trainees, including six females and twenty-eight males, participated in this training. Notably, some of the trainees had visual impairment.
To ensure inclusivity and successful training, careful planning was undertaken. Trainees were grouped, with sighted trainees partnered with visually impaired trainees to assist each other as needed. Those with visual impairments were allowed to use stitching needles they were familiar with and experienced in handling.
Trainees with their finished leather balls together with members of Kenya Leather Development Committee during their visit at the Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind, Kenya.
Trainees were joining two Kholos to have a complete football during the training at MTIB, Kenya.
The process of leather football making involved multiple steps, with six main stages covered during the training. These steps included stitching panels, attaching small panels, stitching larger panels, and eventually stitching halves of the ball together to create a complete football. However, it is important to note that the six steps were simplified for the purpose of the training, and the final product may not resemble a professional football.
Despite the challenges of teaching visually impaired students, the trainers were able to successfully guide the trainees through the process. The football making program concluded with positive results, leaving both the trainers and trainees satisfied with their achievements.
By Augstine Mbitila, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, DIT Mwanza Campus.