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.
- 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 ...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
- 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 ...Read more
- 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 ...Read more
- 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. ...Read more
- 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 ...Read more
- 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 ...Read more
- 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 ...Read more