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.
- 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
- 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, Africa 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