ApparelWest 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.

The Trade Hub is fostering the apparel export manufacturing sector in West Africa, specifically in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana, by:

  • 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.

Apparel News

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  • Sourcing at MAGIC energizes business opportunities for West African apparel

    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. Housed in the Africa Pavilion—a joint effort by USAID and the  East, West, and Southern Africa Trade and Investment ...
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  • Ghanaian apparel firms tie business growth to social responsibility

    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 ...
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  • Lights, camera: West African apparel!

    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% ...
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  • Another first-time AGOA export for Ghanaian company

    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 ...
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  • More efficient, higher producing factory layout for Côte d’Ivoire’s O’sey Collection

    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 ...
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  • Trade Hub and EAA prep West African factories for world’s largest apparel show

    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: ...
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  • Social media campaigns spotlight Trade Hub activities

    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 ...
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  • Marketing the West African advantage at Las Vegas apparel show

    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— ...
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  • Growing appreciation for Benin-based shirt maker in the UK

    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 ...
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  • Preparing Nigerian firms to exhibit at world’s largest apparel trade show

    January 3, 2017
    Trade Hub apparel experts provided technical assistance in December to two Nigerian apparel companies who will join a West African contingent exhibiting at the Sourcing at Magic Show, February 20-23 in Las Vegas, U.S. From December 6-16, Apparel Value Chain Specialist Mr. Emmanuel Odonkor and Apparel Value Chain Consultant Mr. Bernard Coes worked with two firms—Sam ...
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  • Approved visa signals new era of Togolese textile and apparel exports under AGOA

    December 29, 2016
    Last week, Togolese government officials approved Togo’s textile visa—a necessary step for Togo’s textile and apparel industry to begin exporting to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  Since February, the Trade Hub has worked with Togolese officials to develop a national textile visa, with additional support from the U.S. Embassy in ...
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  • Trade Hub assists West Africa’s apparel giant to increase its visibility

    December 20, 2016
    The region’s largest apparel exporter, Dignity-DTRT, has new tools to ramp up its marketing efforts, thanks to direct communications support from the Trade Hub. In November and December, the Trade Hub worked with Dignity-DTRT to develop and produce an 11-minute video documentary, stand-up banners, and photo boards featuring the factory’s production teams and executive leadership. ...
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  • Ghanaian apparel maker’s first sea shipment bound for Australia

    December 5, 2016
    KAD Manufacturing’s first sea shipment left Ghana in November, headed for Jeanswest, an Australian apparel retailer. The shipment was facilitated by the Trade Hub’s partner, Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA), a U.K. based sourcing firm that delivers technical support to promising West African apparel companies like KAD. “This shipment marks a big step forward for KAD’s partnership ...
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  • Cabo Verde AGOA workshop tackles lack of export strategy

    November 22, 2016
    The West African archipelago of Cabo Verde produces textiles and footwear, both eligible for duty-free benefits under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). But the country faces export challenges in logistics, limited information about the U.S. market and AGOA, and lack of product diversification, members of its business and diplomatic community heard during ...
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  • Dignity/DTRT wins the 2016 President’s National Award for Export Achievement

    November 7, 2016
    Dignity/Do The Right Thing (DTRT)—Ghana’s largest apparel exporter and the Trade Hub’s lead apparel firm—won the gold award in the garments/clothing category at the 2016 President’s National Award for Export Achievement on November 2. Organized by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the annual awards ceremony recognizes and encourages outstanding achievement in the export sector. As the ...
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