The official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the gallery of Leather Exotica, a company that produces leather goods (fashion accessories and give away items) took place on July 14, 2017, in the presence of H.E. Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), where at this grand opening government officials, owners and managers of different companies and other invited guests were present.

Leather Exotica’s Gallery is located near Hayat Hospital, where its show room, sells facility and production space is all set at the facility within the gallery.


H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye cutting the ribbon with the owner: Merosn Seid


Nigest Haile Delivering her Welcoming Remarks


During the official opening, welcoming remarks was made by Mrs. Nigest Haile, Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE), in her remarks Mrs Nigest said that Meron started to export her products in 2015 to one of the Nordic Countries (during the trade mission
that was led by H. E. Roman, where Meron was also part of the delegation), Norway and then expanding her export base, continued to export to Finland, Netherlands and Japan.

H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye also delivered her remarks by congratulating Ms. Meron for her extraordinary accomplishments and in inspiring other young women to follow her foot steps.


H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye during the Official Opening of Ms. Meron Seid's Exotica Leather by Meron


Invited Guests during Leather Exotica by Meron Official Opening


Ms. Meron owner and manager of Leather Exotica by Meron giving explanation about the products to the H. E. Roman Tesfaye the First Lady of Ethiopia


Following the grand opening of Leather Exotica Gallery, meeting was conducted at the workshop facility of the gallery, where in attendance were CAWEE members involved in the Leather sector and the concerned government stakeholders, where this meeting was chaired by H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye.

The Director of Small and Medium Manufacturing Industries Cluster Development Corporation, Mr. Yabebal Addis , the Deputy Director of Leather Industries Development Institute (LIDI) Mr. Hailekiros Debesay were present.


Meeting Participants at the Leather Exotica by Merson's workshop


This particular meeting was the first dialogue forum, chaired by H. E. Roman, where the concerned government officials and the women in leather actively took part.

The meeting held on July 14, 2017 discussed on:

  • The challenges that women in leather face in getting production space from the government and
  • The problem in purchasing leather from tanneries, as most of the tanneries demand huge and bulk orders.
The concerned officials that were present during the meeting took note of the challenges that the women in leather faced and promised to take actions immediately. The meeting gave the chance for CAWEE member in the Leather Sector to share their concerns directly to those concerned government officials which was indeed a great opportunity to be heard and to find solutions. The Government officials provided up-dates, on the progresses that have been made so far.

The meeting was finalized with a concluding note made by H. E. Roman, where she underlined that; serious action needs to be taken by those concerned government officials and offices to take serious measures to support those women involved in leather.


Group Picture of CAWEE members in the Leather Sector, Government Officials, Executive Director of CAWEE, Mrs. Nigest Haile with H. E. Roman Tesfaye the First Lady of Ethiopia