ELICO-Awash Tannery

Awash Tannery, currently one of Ethio Leather Industries Plc.’s (ELICO) tanneries, was one of the 12 tanneries and footwear producers in public ownership for decades under the National Leather Corporation. 

It is a 54-years old company that started manufacturing shoes as Darmar Tannery in Addis Ababa in 1957.  It was the brainchild of Armenian tanners who fled to Africa after World War II and won the approval of Emperor Haile Selassie I, who presided over the official opening ceremony.  The commemorative plaque still stands at the entrance of one of the main production units.  

Awash Tannery was nationalized in 1975 by the former government and then privatized again and took its current name under Ethio Leather Industries Plc. (ELICO) after having been acquired by         MIDROC Ethiopia. 

Awash Tannery is the largest and perhaps the second oldest factory in Ethiopia; that produces finished leather products from sheep skin and bovine hide.  It is specialized in the manufacture of the finest and world-class leather and leather products.  The unit produces finished shoe upper leather, different leather articles and upholstery from hides for the local and international leather markets.  Garments and lining leather from pickled sheep skin are also processed in Awash Tannery.

For instance, the following major products of Awash Tannery division could state briefly in the following table:-


Product Type



Remarks for variation


Sheep Napa upper

(shoe for men’s & women’s)

0.9-1.1mm and more

Black, Brown and Fashion colors

As per customers order


Sheep dress glove leather



0.55-065mm & more



Fashion colors

As per customers order


Sheep golf glove leather

0.35-0.55mm & more

Silver white

Snow white

As per customer order

Production Capacity of Awash Tannery

The production capacity for Awash Tanning Division has been categorized in to two sections. These are the production capacity for hides and the production capacity for skins.


Production category

Per day

Per year



Production capacity for hides

1050 Pcs or

26,250 Sq.ft

315,000 Pcs or

7,875,000 Sq.ft


Production capacity for skins

8,000 Pcs or 34,000Sq.ft

2,400,000Pcs or 10.2m/Sq.ft