Ethiopia is one of the countries with the largest livestock number in Africa. According to government figures at present, total livestock number of Ethiopia stands at 23 million goats, 25 million sheep and 41 million head of cattle. As the Ethiopian government has long taken an active interest in the leather industry, the livestock number is on the increase, as specific support to farmers is provided to help them secure enough supplies of feed and water to run large herds. In areas with plenty of rain, farmers are concentrating on food crops, but in drier areas, distribution of water and feed is improving and livestock farmers are taking advantage.
In 1997, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al Amoudi, a frontline private investor in the country and determined to improve the living standard of the people of Ethiopia, in his unfaltering commitment to invest in strategic projects, added Ethio Leather Industry Plc (ELICO) to the list of his Group of Investment Companies in Ethiopia.
Ethio-Leather Industry Plc (ELICO) was established in August 1997 with a total registered capital of Birr 51,705,000 (USD 7,673,640). The Company’s current total capital is Birr 239,082,417. It is the only leather industry to produce finished sheepskin and goatskin leather in Ethiopia and has provided about 1,300 employment opportunities, 40% of whom are women including 74-degree graduates and 272 semi-professionals. The Company has a capacity of producing around 25 square feet of leather on average from each bovine hide manufacturing unit, 4.5 square-feet from sheepskins and about five square-feet from a goat.