West Africa is catching up to other African regions as a global sourcing destination for apparel. Duty free advantages under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) make the region cost-competitive, especially as labor costs rise in Asia, with lower incidence of brand-damaging reputational issues of safety and exploitation. West African governments are creating business-friendly environments with local incentives—such as export processing zones, tax holidays, expedited permits, and help finding factory space—to spur major U.S. and EU brands to increasingly source garments from the region.
- Helping lead firms increase apparel production for export to the U.S. and other markets.
- Establishing linkages between West African designers and fashion manufacturers and American sourcing companies to find buyers in the U.S.
- Promoting fair trade policies to institute a Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production program, support women’s fair employment, and encourage employee-friendly labor.
- Collaborating with government agencies to develop and implement export promotion strategies for apparel.
In this sector, the Trade Hub is partnering with the Ministries of Trade and Industry in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana; the Association of Ghana Apparel Manufacturers; the Ghana Export Promotion Authority; the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; the Ghana Free Zones Board; the Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry; chambers of commerce in Benin and Côte d’Ivoire; the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division); and Ethical Apparel Africa.
- April 18, 2017 Behind the scenes for the “making of” the Hub’s apparel video The Trade Hub’s apparel video is fostering the apparel export manufacturing sector in West Africa, specifically in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. This video short provides a behind the scenes look at the making of this video. Cereals exchange in Mali brings together buyers and sellers ...Read more
- April 10, 2017 Ms. Abimbola Alwaod is a Nigerian small business owner who manufactures soap, melon seed powder and crayfish powder. Ms. Alwaod has tried to export to the U.S. but has been unsuccessful. She said she lacked information on quality and standards requirements and documentation mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. ...Read more
- April 4, 2017 Abia State’s commercial capital, Aba, hosted a workshop on March 29 during which more than 150 apparel manufacturers and exporters learned about the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and how to take advantage of the preferential trade agreement. The Nigerian government has identified Abia State as the country’s manufacturing hub, as it is home ...Read more
- March 20, 2017 Ivorian apparel maker O’sey detailed current and planned expansion to USAID visitors at its Abidjan factory on March 7—and credited Trade Hub technical and market linkage support as essential to their growth. “Without the Trade Hub’s training and support, we wouldn’t have been able to meet international performance standards,” O’sey CEO Mr. Philipe Kouame told the ...Read more
- March 13, 2017 Officials from the U.S. Embassy and USAID/Benin visited Africa New Confection (ANC), a leading apparel manufacturer, on March 1. There, they learned how Trade Hub assistance is yielding improvements and deals for the emerging exporter and spoke with a U.S. buyer visiting ANC at the same time. ANC owner Mr. Isidore Kouton, said USAID through the ...Read more
- March 7, 2017 For Linda Ampah of KAD Manufacturing, one year has made all the difference in reaching U.S. buyers. She has ramped up international orders in addition to following up with contacts made at last year’s Sourcing at MAGIC tradeshow. Ms. Ampah first attended the world’s largest apparel show in February 2016 in Las Vegas, under the Africa ...Read more
- February 27, 2017 Eye-catching prints and styles, coupled with an open-concept booth design, drew scores of potential buyers to learn about West African apparel and production capacity at the Sourcing at MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, February 20-23, 2017. » View photos from the show here Housed in the Africa Pavilion—a joint effort by USAID and the East, West, ...Read more
- February 20, 2017 USAID officials got a first-row view of two apparel firms that the Trade Hub is assisting to expand operations, generate jobs and grow exports under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). On Feb. 8, Ms. Alicia Robinson-Morgan, USAID’s Deputy Trade Africa Coordinator, toured KAD Manufacturing (KAD) and Dignity/Do the Right Thing (DTRT), two of ...Read more
- February 20, 2017 As West African clothing takes the spotlight this week at the Sourcing at MAGIC tradeshow, visitors will be able to watch a new video showcasing the region’s advantages. As explained by USAID, the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, and apparel companies themselves, the “West Africa Advantage” offers: duty-free exporting to the U.S. with 30% ...Read more
- January 23, 2017 Bedrock Ventures, a Ghanaian apparel manufacturer and fabric producer, is the latest West African company to turn Trade Hub support into an export under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In December 2016, the company exported ladies’ dresses, jackets, men’s trousers and fabrics of batik, tie-dye and mudcloth fabrics valued at $7,300 to ...Read more
- January 23, 2017 Ivorian apparel maker O’sey Collection received two weeks of intensive Trade Hub technical assistance in January to establish efficient production lines in its new factory. The new industrial layout should help increase O’sey’s workforce from 30 to 200 as well as boost production capacity from 300 to 1,500 shirts and T-shirts per day, bound for ...Read more
- January 23, 2017 With approximately a month to the Sourcing at MAGIC show, the Trade Hub and Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA) on January 17 conducted a planning workshop to strategize with participating factories on how the West Africa delegation would put its best foot forward at the Feb 20-23 event in Las Vegas. EAA presented on “Production and apparel: ...Read more
- January 19, 2017 On Jan. 13, the Trade Hub launched a 10-day #didyouknow campaign to guide stakeholders to recently published fact sheets. In January and February, we will promote Hub-supported apparel companies to buyers attending the Sourcing at MAGIC trade show, and feature women’s roles in expanding West African trade. For more information, visit us on Facebook or ...Read more
- January 9, 2017 Six apparel makers from Benin, Ghana and Nigeria will exhibit at the world’s largest clothing trade show, February 20 to 23, joining dozens of producers from all over Africa to connect with leading global buyers. Sponsored by the Trade Hub and its partner, Ethical Apparel Africa, the six firms will showcase several categories of apparel— ...Read more
- January 9, 2017 “Shirt was a big hit in London Town…” “We love them. So cool, and the quality is excellent…” “You were right, the girls loved my shirt; another party tonight, and I am going to wear the other one.” These are just a few of the many comments customers have sent to UK-based Irvine Shirts about its new line ...Read more