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.
- December 23, 2015 In late 2015, Trade Hub partner Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA), a U.S. based sourcing firm facilitated $33,000 in deals for apparel firms in Ghana and Benin. Thanks to EAA connections, African New Confection (ANC) of Benin has two contracts extending into 2016 with Eve and Tribe, a Nigeria-based American company, and is sampling for a well-known ...Read more
- December 2, 2015 Earlier this month, the Trade Hub’s apparel value chain specialist, Emmanuel Odonkor, went on a scouting mission in Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) to investigate areas where the Trade Hub could intervene and collaborate with government institutions and the private sector in order to grow its apparel export industry. The CDI government has identified the following programs and projects to ...Read more
- August 20, 2015 The Trade Hub last week brought together key stakeholders in Ghana’s apparel industry for a two-day workshop to discuss how to improve the apparel export sector. The workshop, part of the project’s efforts to build a sustainable and internationally competitive garment industry, provided stakeholders with information on duty-free opportunities and other advantages available under the ...Read more
- June 23, 2015 In October 2014, the year-old Dignity/DTRT (Do The Right Thing) Apparel—a Ghanaian-American joint venture—had nearly 600 machines and a workforce of just over 1,000, mostly women. Orders were on the rise, including from one of the largest U.S. clothing wholesalers. From its base in Ghana’s Adjabeng garment enclave, Dignity/DTRT can ship duty and quota-free to ...Read more