COMESA LLPI/COMSec workshop @ Kigali: ecosystem thinking for regional design studio

Kigali, Rwanda November 10 – 11 2015. ¬†Mapping end-user oriented value pathways and supply chain ecosystems across East & South Africa’s leather sector.

This workshop was organized by The Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) and the Commonwealth Secretariat London (COMSec).  Participants represented a cross-section of the private and public sector across East and Southern Africa. A primary objective of this workshop was to review what value means to end-users, supply chains, and producers of finished leather goods.

A secondary objective was to consider how RDS might function as a source of evidence-based to support design decisions, by producers. The premise, design research is about the creation of tools to collect and analyze data. It is also about the provision of support to producers who need to translate research findings into tangible design outcomes.

Participants reflect a cross-section of the leather sector supply chain. They range from manufacturers, makers, trend researchers, retailers, buyers through to public sector executives and policymakers.

We used a participatory design research framework to gather, structure and make sense of data, provided by participants. These formed the basis of two maps that overlap:

1. Interdependencies across local and international supply chains.

2. Organizational design requirements for RDS to support product development consultancy.

Participants shared perspectives with evidence-based data relative to design research and product development capacity within their organizations. This process helped us visualize links between supply and value chain across the leather across the region. We used design sprints to validate how the RDS might function as a part of a demand-driven value chain and ecosystem.

This opened up opportunities to assess barriers across participating countries that constrain research-oriented product development.

A working team made recommendations based on data and analysis from this session as well as other sessions. The Council of Trade Ministers across the eight participating countries are set to ratify these recommendations.

Thanks to:

1. Design For Impact Group re Creative Commons access to an adaptive visual frame-working tool, for explaining information where complex ecosystem relationships need to be explained immediately and clearly.

2. Gill Wildman at Plot London re Conference Paper – ‘Live, Actionable and Tangible: Teaching Design Strategy’.

Project Team

Mrs. Tigist Hailegiorgis (Project Adminstration), Prof. Mekonnen Hailemariam (COMESA/LLPI Value Chain Expert), Mr. Francois Kanimba (Minister, Rwanda Ministry of Trade and Industry), Prof. Mwinyikione Mwinyhija (Executive Director, COMESA/LLPI), Ms. Estella Aryada (Trade Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat), P.S.M Kinyanjiu (Chair, Akamswear Ltd, Kenya), Mrs Beatrice Kemunto Mochere (Managing Director, Sanabora Design House, Kenya Ltd), Awet Negusse Ghebretatios (Negusse Shoe Factory Asmara, Eritrea), Mr. Feraw Kebede (General Manager, Oliberte Ltd, Ethiopia), Mrs. Lucy Kiarie (Juasco Enterprises, Kenya), Phillipa Thorne (Khokho Leather Crafts, Swaziland), Ms. Mukashayaka Germaine (GBF Leather and Art Promoters Ltd, Rwanda), Mr. Clement Shoko (Leather Council Chair, Zimbabwe), Mrs. Victoria Senkubuge Byoma (Chair Person Uganda Leather Association), Mr. Prestone Viswamo (Copperbelt Leather Industries Cluster, Zambia), Nalina Rupani (Managing Director, Adelphi Leather Shop, Nairobi, Kenya), Ms. Agnes Gitau (Work-Session Co-ordinator, East Africa Business Network) and Ayodeji Alaka (Work-Session Facilitator, East Africa Business Network).

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