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East Africa takes steps to promote textiles industry

East Africa is seeking to galvanise synergies of textile industry players by linking the local cotton, textile and apparel industry to local suppliers and fashion designers in the region. Policies will be framed for promoting the sector’s performance, productivity and quality.

East African countries will embark on manufacturing apparels such as inner garments, ties and scarves that require low level technology and skills. The East African Community comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The region is trying to phase out imports of second hand clothes. Over the years, the clothing and shoe manufacturing industries in the EAC have collapsed due to the emergence of the informal sector.

Cotton production, processing and trade in East Africa is influenced by policies like price support, tariff protection, production subsidies and stock piling that destabilise cotton prices. The competitiveness of the cotton industry in the East African Community is faced with challenges such as low yields, ginning overcapacity, low ginning out-turn ratio and inefficient value addition. It’s felt that value addition in the cotton and textile industry in the form of innovative aesthetic accessories, interior designs and fashion can create more job opportunities.

Meanwhile the United States Agency for International Development has approved a grant to the East African Community. This will support the health, energy and environment sectors.

 
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