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 Made in Africa.
WRAP certification awareness paves way for West African apparel exporters to be globally competitiveOctober 18, 2016Many international apparel retailers require their sourcing manufacturers have Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification, which demonstrates a company’s commitment to socially and environmentally ethical standards. However, a rapid Trade Hub assessment found no West African garment and textile exporter has this certification—and at least one Hub-supported firm lost a potential order in 2016 because it ...Read more
- October 10, 2016 On October 4-5, Trade Hub staff working on apparel exports under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) visited customs officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority in two major Ghanaian export hubs: Accra Airport and Tema Port. For apparel exports under AGOA, manufacturers ship samples and smaller shipments to the U.S. from the airport, while ...Read more
- October 3, 2016 Mohamed Abou-iiana, the Trade Hub’s Senior AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Specialist, presented at a September 28th workshop, “Customs and Export Documentation to Take Advantage of AGOA.” Co-hosted with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Trade Hub-led workshop was part of a series designed to familiarize export-ready companies with AGOA requirements and ...Read more
- October 3, 2016 Carol Adoum, the Trade Hub’s new Chief of Party, visited KAD Manufacturing, Anowah Afrique, and Precious Textiles in Greater Accra on September 29 and 30, together with Mohamed Abou-iiana, the Trade Hub’s Senior African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Specialist, Emmanuel Odonkor, Apparel Specialist, and Rebecca Weaver, the Hub’s Strategic Communication Specialist. The Trade Hub team ...Read more
- September 19, 2016 Social compliance to meet international standards is key to market penetration, 20 Ghanaian producers heard September 14 at a Trade Hub-led AGOA sensitization workshop in Accra, Ghana. The workshop was the second in a series hosted with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to help Ghanaian companies understand exporting basics under the ...Read more
- September 6, 2016 A Ghanaian apparel producer successfully cleared a major shipment to the United States under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) in August, thanks to Trade Hub efforts to solve a last-minute problem with U.S. Customs. When the $20,000 shipment of women’s dresses bound for California first arrived in the U.S., customs held it due to improper ...Read more
- August 24, 2016 Just having launched its “Made in Africa” line for export under AGOA to Brooklyn Industries in the U.S., Ghana-based KAD Manufacturing is working on its next major order: producing 2,000 pieces of clothing—including shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses—for a prominent Australian brand. At a Trade Hub factory visit on August 16, KAD Manufacturing founder Mrs. Linda ...Read more
- August 2, 2016 Brooklyn Industries—a New York-based design company with 16 retail stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Portland, Ore.—recently launched its “Made in Africa” line produced by Kad Manufacturing, a Trade Hub-supported apparel manufacturer in Ghana. Kad first received inquiries from Brooklyn in late 2015 and worked closely with the Trade Hub’s apparel partner, Ethical Apparel Africa ...Read more
- July 7, 2016 Textile travel and luggage goods—including backpacks, handbags, and wallets—are now eligible for duty-free treatment when exported from Least Developed Beneficiary Developing Countries and those eligible under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Several West African countries fall in either or both these categories, giving the region a competitive cost advantage over non-African manufacturers ...Read more
- June 19, 2016 The Ghana Youth Employment Agency and local apparel producing companies have signed an agreement to employ 5,000 Ghanaian youth, particularly girls from Ghana’s poorer regions. Dignity DTRT, a leading apparel firm which enjoys Trade Hub support, has already signed up 2,000 persons, as reported by Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, during a June 16 tour of the ...Read more
- June 13, 2016 Crown Natures of Nigeria was among 180 exhibitors who converged in Cape Town, South Africa on June 8-9 for Source Africa 2016. The annual event brings together apparel manufacturers, buyers, suppliers and service providers for both international and African markets to explore an extensive array of products and services from all over the continent. The only ...Read more
- April 25, 2016 International clothing retailers toured apparel factories in Ghana and Benin in April, accompanied by the Trade Hub’s Apparel Value Chain Specialist, Emmanuel Odonkor, and Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA). Buyers showed interest in West Africa as part of a diversified sourcing strategy—as well as in the region’s unique fabric offerings. A team from large Australian fashion retailer ...Read more
- March 8, 2016 In early February, Abou Fall, the Trade Hub’s AGOA/Global Value Chains Coordinator, teamed with the Commercial Assistant of the U.S. Embassy in Togo and travelled to Lomé to meet with members of the Togolese National AGOA Committee and Ministry of Commerce to review a drafted textile visa. Togolese government officials met with the Trade Hub in ...Read more
- February 25, 2016 Sourcing at MAGIC 2016 brought international apparel and textile manufacturers to Las Vegas, Nevada from February 15-18, 2016 for the opportunity to showcase their quality merchandise, wide manufacturing capabilities, and value-added product delivery and services at the world’s largest apparel trade show. Thirty-five apparel manufacturers from East, Southern, and West Africa came together in the Africa ...Read more
- February 12, 2016 What’s the Africa Advantage? From Feb. 15-18, dozens of African apparel manufacturers—including four from Ghana and Benin—will explain multiple advantages of buying from Africa at the world’s largest apparel trade show. Sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas focuses on the global supply chain, giving a platform for thousands of brands and retailers to source production directly ...Read more