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Ghana’s textiles and apparel industry reels under fakes

Ghana’s textile industry is in dire straits. The industry’s woes started in early 2000 when original designs made by Ghanaian textile companies were stolen and reproduced cheaply in China for the Ghana market. The industry which had so much potential was pushed to its knees as the high cost of production and the influx of cheaper and pirated textiles from China left it helpless. The textile industry which used to employ over 25,000 people has seen a decline in production since 2005, leading to massive lay-offs. The workforce in the industry has dropped by over 80 per cent since 1985.

Production of fabrics was 130 million meters in 1975, 46 million meters in 1995, 65 million meters in 2000 and 39 million meters in 2003. Today, production is below the 30 million meter mark. Workers are calling for the re-activation of textiles piracy task force set up in 2010 to deal with traders in counterfeit textiles.

While locally produced cotton is used by firms, many of the dyes, chemicals and machines are imported from abroad at significant prices. The market is flooded with counterfeit textiles. The borders are porous with only a few of them manned by security people, making it very easy for these counterfeiters to pass through.