Shoe Company Hopes to Kick-start Manufacturing in Africa

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Made in Africa is not something you hear about very often. But Tal Dehtiar is trying to change that with his business, Oliberte, which he says is the first international company to market casual shoes made entirely in Africa.

A Native-born Canadian, Dehtiar is one of a growing number of social entrepreneurs who want to do good while doing well.

He launched his company two years ago, with an aim to make — and sell — shoes for the fashionista with a conscience.

“For that man or woman between 25 to 45 that says ’I want to look good, I want quality, but I want to stand for something as well,’” Dehtiar said.

Dehtiar remains clear about his goal: to sell affordable high quality shoes from a continent he says has major manufacturing potential.

“When I want people to think of Africa, related to manufacturing footwear, I don’t want them looking at it as another low cost producer — ’Oh it’s the next China’ — cheap labor,” he said.

“If you want to do that, stay in China or stay wherever’s low cost. If you want quality footwear, if you want to pay people right, if you want to treat them with respect, use good product, then come to Africa,” he added.

Source: CNN (link opens in a new window)