By Taziz Hasairi.
Tripoli, 9 April 2014:
Libya’s security sector, from its newly-trained army and police forces to the brigades that still provide . . .[restrict]security in parts of the country are boosting domestic industry, with the demand for military clothing and footwear at an all-time high.
There were four local footwear manufacturers at this year’s Tripoli International Fair, including the Aloroba Footwear Company, which produces footwear under the brand name Libyano. A local company based in Tripoli, Aloroba has been making leather and synthetic shoes since 2009 and its average production is now hitting 50,000 pairs of shoes and boots per year.
It has a shop in the capital’s Abu Saleem district showcasing its products, which it sells wholesale to other shops and traders. It has several contracts with local brigades for military boots. Its range of military footwear, salesman Mohammed said, are their best-sellers by far.
The boots and shoes are all made in its Al-Hadba factory, which employs 20 manufacturing and packing staff, as well as one Libyan and one Tunisian designer.
“The future of local industry in Libya is getting better, especially since the revolution,” Mohammed said. “Our principle is quality and our motto is perseverance.”
In competition with Aloroba is Alsani, which specialises in locally-produced leather footwear. Making leather goods since 1991 at its Tripoli factory, Alsani has long specialised in military footwear. The company started slowly, back in the nineties, making around 16,000 pairs of boots a year. Since the revolution, however, demand has shot up and it is now making between 30,000 and 35,000 pairs a year.
Alsani only makes men’s shoes, specialising in military footwear, offering a range of designs. Company representative Omar said that Alsani exclusively made contracts with the government, to provide footwear for institutions including the national Army and the police. They did not sell to brigades or security companies not authorised by the government, he added.
Alsani also makes leather accessories, including belts and holsters for the police and the Armed Forces.
With the government’s commitment to boosting the country’s official security forces, and with thousands of new recruits to be trained abroad this year, the future is only looking brighter for Libyan manufacturers who specialise in military footwear and clothing.