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NEWS & RESEARCH FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
(#20 / 2018 - 31 July 2018)
www.africantextilesandapparel.com
In 2011/12 growing season 288,601 Zimbabwean farmers grew cotton on 432,901 hectares of land and they produced a total of 143,788 metric tons of lint
In 2015/16 growing season 125,000 Zimbabwean farmers grew cotton on 101,000 hectares of land and they produced a total of 13,120 metric tons of lint
In 2017/18 growing season approximately 180,000 Zimbabwean farmers grew cotton on about 200,00 hectares of land and its estimated that they may produce 73,000 metric tons of lint
 
NEWS

SOUTH AFRICA – LEGAL CHALLENGE TO TRUMP TARIFFS, 25 July 2018
A South African business grouping is to launch a lawsuit against the United States, arguing that proposed US tariffs on South African motor car imports will violate South Africa’s rights under the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA). South Africa’s Trade & Industry Minister said that “interested groups” planned to challenge this latest US move in a growing global trade war. The Minister noted that though South Africa was a “non-combatant” in that trade war, it was already suffering “collateral damage”. He referred specifically to the large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports which the US has imposed, mainly directed at large economic competitors such as China and the European Union. These had also, however, impacted on South Africa, even though its exports of steel and aluminum to the US represent a tiny percentage of US imports. READ HERE >>

Comment
Of course if these interest groups launch a challenge its possible that that the US administration responds and removes all of South Africa’s AGOA trade privileges - who knows what will happen when Trump is involved? This possible move, and then possible US countermeasures, must be of concern to Falke Socks – as it exports millions of dollars worth of socks to the US each year.


RWANDA – AGOA GARMENT FACTORY FINDS OTHER MARKETS, 24 July 2018
C&H Garments in Rwanda has announced plans to double its production capacity from 200,000 pieces a month buoyed by new markets in Africa, Asia and Europe. While the management of C&H did not make the amount of investment in the third expansion phase public, it is estimated that about 3,000 jobs will be created. “We have many new buyers and orders from Europe, Africa and Asia. Our aim is to get to know which ones have bigger volumes and are consistent,” said Malou Jontilano, the general manager of C&H Rwanda. There were fears that since the United States has stated that it would withdraw Rwanda’s AGOA trade privileges related to clothing products that C&H, one of Rwanda’s biggest clothing manufacturers, would close. READ HERE >>
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Rwanda’s National Industrial Research & Development Agency (NIRDA) has prepared a mini profile of Rwanda’s textile and apparel industry. It can be found HERE >>


RWANDA – GARMENT EXPORTS TO THE UNITED STATES, 7 July 2018
United States’ Department of State: Press Briefing - with Constance “Connie” Hamilton, Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa. Washington, DC. 9 July 2018.

MS HAMILTON: "Let me just say … Rwanda is not losing their AGOA benefits. The issue had to do with the out of cycle review that we were doing on used clothing. We had a lot of discussions with the members of the EAC. Other countries decided to change some of the bans that they were putting in place on this product. Rwanda has decided that they want to continue to raise tariffs and ban the product. That’s fine. That’s Rwanda’s decision. It doesn’t mean that we are at odds with Rwanda in terms of our relationship. We continue to work with them on the other aspects of AGOA that they will benefit from. What it does mean, however, is that there is a process in place for the President to make a decision as to what we should do with Rwanda’s decision to continue the ban on US products. So where we are right now, Rwanda is a member of AGOA. They will be at the AGOA Forum. They will continue to benefit from AGOA. The only issue that we were looking at is whether or not the apparel benefits would continue for Rwanda. It sounds like the government has decided that there are other measures and other steps that they want to take in this regard. That’s fine. That’s a decision that the government can take. We’ve told them the consequences. We will continue to work with them to resolve the issue. If Rwanda wants to continue talking with us about this, our doors are always open. So we remain engaged. We remain very good friends with our interlocutors in the Rwandan Government. We talk about this a lot. But again, it’s a decision that their government wanted to take and we respect that."
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT >>
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NOTE: on 30 March 2018 the US President advised:
“The President determined today the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“In response to a petition filed by the US used clothing industry in March 2017, the Administration initiated an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear. The review found that this import ban harms the US used clothing industry and is inconsistent with AGOA beneficiary criteria for countries to eliminate barriers to US trade and investment.

“Based on the results of the review, the President determined that Rwanda is not making sufficient progress toward the elimination of barriers to US trade and investment, and therefore is out of compliance with eligibility requirements of AGOA. Consequently, the President notified Congress and the Government of Rwanda of his intent to suspend duty-free treatment for all AGOA-eligible apparel products from Rwanda in 60 days."
SOURCE >>

Comment
Its interesting to see that the US did not put in place the Rwanda garment exclusion immediately after the 60 days - i.e. at the end of May 2018. What could be the reasons for this? Were there still discussions taking place in order to find ways to resolve the impasse? Was spending so much time on this matter considered trivial? Did Trump not get the memo? Was the memo too long for Trump to read?


KENYA/ETHIOPIA – THE ETHIOPIAN ADVANTAGE Bt COTTON, 26 July 2018
A decision by Ethiopia to start production of high yielding genetically modified cotton could tilt the scales against its rival textile sectors in Kenya and Madagascar, now starved of the raw material. Ethiopia in June allowed for the cultivation of GMO cotton seedlings, a move the government hopes will bolster its plans of using fashion to clothe its industrial future. The Ethiopian garment industry is currently in a renaissance phase, attracting key global fashion brands scotched by rising cost of labour, raw material and tax in China. A raft of incentives including tax breaks, subsidies and cheap loans have brought the initial thrust for the Ethiopian textile industry and now its government hopes that the introduction of BT cotton will help fill the remaining part of the equation by resolving its shortage of raw material, partly due to disease and climate change. Cotton pricing and quality has been a drawback to Ethiopia’s aspirations of growing its textile industry, estimated to have a potential to attract more than US$1bn in exports. Ethiopia banks on the new varieties to help fill up idle farmlands. While it is projected that 2.6m hectares of land in Ethiopia is suitable for cotton cultivation, only 130,000ha has been put under the crop. READ HERE >>


ETHIOPIA – INDIAN INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA, July 2018
The emergence of Ethiopia as a garment hub and the increasing quantum of investment flowing from India into the country has become a cause of worry for the Indian textile industry. Some of the big textile and garment manufacturers that have gone to the African country in recent times include Raymond and Arvind. In the past few months, several Tirupur-based garment manufacturers also got attracted by the prospects in Ethiopia. These include SCM Garments, the export arm of Chennai Silks, Jay Jay Mills, Best Corporation and KPR Mills. READ HERE >>


SOUTH AFRICA – 'SOURCE AFRICA 2018' EVENT REPORT, 27 July 2018
In summary: The textile and apparel orientated show (held on 20 & 21 June 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa) increased its occupied floor space by over 200 square meters and it had over 150 exhibitors from 10 different countries and buyers from across the SADC region at the show. With increased marketing there was a more than 45% increase in the number of visitors attending the event, and an 80% increase in total attendees. The post show event report compiled by the new show owners – Messe Frankfurt - can be READ HERE >> while the 2018 exhibitor list can be SEEN HERE >>.
GRAPHIC:  Source Africa Attendance.    [This image can be seen if you enable

NIGERIA – GINNERS ASSOCIATION OPPOSES FOREIGN INVESTMENT, 27 July 2018
The Cotton Ginners Association of Nigeria has opposed proposed foreign investment in the Nigerian textile and garment industry. In a statement issued the President of the association said the proposed investment would kill the nation’s local textile and garment industry because of the provision that the investors be allowed to import cotton lint to supply to the country’s textile mills. READ HERE >>


LESOTHO - WOOL & MOHAIR SMUGGLER CAUGHT, 24 July 2018
A Mokhotlong farmer faces a seven year jail term and a fine of M70,000 (US$5,300) if found guilty of contravening the recently passed wool and mohair regulations which forbid anyone from exporting wool and mohair without a licence. This follows an incident in which 9,000kg of wool belonging to the farmer was confiscated by Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) customs officers at the Maseru border. The LRA officers seized a truck carrying 60 bales of sheep’s wool valued at M990,000 (US$75k) at Maseru Bridge. According to the LRA documents, the wool belonged to the farmer and it was destined for Port Elizabeth in South Africa. READ HERE >>


LESOTHO - WAGES TO INCREASE? 24 July 2018
The Lesotho government has reportedly proposed that its parastatals should subsidise Chinese-owned factories by cutting utility costs to enable the factories to meet the wage demands of their workers. If implemented the parastatals namely, the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), Water & Sewage Company (WASCO) and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) would cut utility costs of electricity, water and rent for the Chinese-owned factories. This would enable the factories to pass on the savings in the form of increased wages to the restive factory workers. The proposal was made at a recent meeting between an inter-ministerial task team and officials from the LEC, WASCO and the LNDC. The four member inter-ministerial task team to superintend over discussions to address the workers’ wage demands. Unions are demanding a 15% increment for all workers; and a general minimum wage of M2,000 (US$152) for factory workers. READ HERE >>


SOUTH AFRICA – WAGE SETTLEMENTS AND STRIKES, July 2018
South Africa’s largest textile and apparel trade union, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU – the union is affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)), is currently involved in a number of wage negotiations. Some negotiations have been settled; but other have ended in deadlock.
 
Home Textiles Sub-Sector – Settlement (26 July 2018)
SACTWU members in the Home Textiles Sub-Sector will receive an average increase of 10% (package increases will vary between 7.25% and 21%). Included is a 13.5% productivity bonus to be added to the basic wage. Approximately 6,600 workers from 127 factories, nationally, will benefit from this increase. The negotiations were settled after SACTWU had declared a national wage dispute in the sub-sector. Increases have been backdated to 1 July 2018.
 
Carpets Sub-Sector – Dispute Declared (27 July 2018)
SACTWU has declared a dispute in the Carpets Sub-Sector. The dispute comes after three rounds of wage negotiations. After the 3rd round the matter was referred to Conciliation, which took place on 26 July, but the matter remained unresolved. SACTWU will consult its members on the way forward. Employers are offering 7.5% increase for the first year, and 7% for the second year. The union is demanding 10% for the first year and 11% for the second year. Approximately 600 workers, nationally, from 6 factories will benefit from this agreement. Increases were due on 1 July 2018.
 
Pep Stores (Apparel Retail) – Dispute Declared (25 July 2018)
SACTWU declared a national wage dispute against clothing retailer Pep Stores. A conciliation session between the disputing parties was subsequently held under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA) on 18 July 2018. SACTWU is demanding an across the board wage increase of 8%, that long service awards to be increased by 15% with effect from January 2019 for all categories of employees, one additional paid study leave day, an incentive bonus to include bill payments, as well as back-pay. Pep Stores are offering a 7.5% wage increase and it has undertaken to increase long service cash awards by 15%, and to improve study leave by an additional paid day. Increases were due on 1st July 2018. Conciliation has been adjourned to 20 August. More than 7,000 Pep Stores workers are covered by these negotiations. SACTWU Is joined in the dispute by two other trade unions.
Sources: press releases issued by SACTWU READ HERE >>

As has been previously been reported in the “African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor”:
  • wages have been settled in the Woven & Crochet Narrow Fabrics Textile Sub-Sector. An 8% wage increase, plus improvements in family responsibility leave provisions, and improved short time notification conditions were agreed. (See: "Monitor #19 of 24 July 2018")
  • SACTWU has declared a dispute in the country’s clothing sector. Clothing employers are offering a 7% wage increase; while SACTWU’s members are demanding an 8% package increase for metropolitan urban areas and 8.5% for non-metro (more rural) areas. (See: "Monitor #18 of 17 July 2018")

On 27 July 2018 SACTWU’s members engaged in South Africa’s footwear manufacturing industry were engaged in their 15th day of national strike action. SACTWU members in this sector have been joined by members of the National Union of Leather & Allied Workers (NULAW). Sector employers are offering a 7% increase; while NULAW is demanding 7.5% increase and SACTWU an 8% increase.


SOUTH AFRICA – H&M & THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT, 18 June 2018
In previous edition of the “African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor” it was reported that Swedish headquartered retailer H&M had visited South Africa with a view to exploring apparel sourcing options. More light has been shed on the H&M sourcing trip to South Africa by an answer to a formal question tabled in the South African Parliament on 18 June 2018.

Question - Dr Cardo: With reference to his engagements with the Swedish retailer, H&M, as mentioned in his department’s Budget Vote speech on 10 May 2018, (a) how did the engagements come about, (b) what was the nature of the discussions, (c) what undertakings were given by the retailer and (d) what suasion was employed to extract these undertakings?

Reply - Minister for Economic Development Ebrahim Patel: H&M is reportedly the world’s second largest clothing retailer, with stores in a number of countries, including in South Africa. Earlier this year, the company featured an advert of a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” etched on the front. The company was widely criticized for insensitivity and some responded with outrage. The company issued a public apology and hired a diversity leader to strengthen company sensitivities.

It had been known for some time that the company has not used South Africa as a source for the manufacture of clothing. The Economic Development Department (EDD) reached out to the company to draw to their attention to the fact that the African continent is not purely a consumer market for goods but also a source of clothing and textiles. The Swedish ambassador also facilitated discussions between the company and government as well as NGOs. During the discussions, it was acknowledged that every single item in a H&M store from assets, stock in trade and consumables is imported. The EDD and some NGOs pointed out that a full and complete mea culpa would preferably include using South Africa as a source for clothing and other consumables, which would create local jobs and help to bring down levels of unemployment in the country.

Government is encouraging a number of retailers to localise more of their sourcing as a means of creating local jobs and some retailers have already responded positively, as reported to Parliament on more than one occasion, with positive results for the country. H&M acknowledged it had not previously considered South Africa as a sourcing market and undertook to send a technical delegation to South Africa to identify local capacity. EDD arranged a meeting between H&M and a retailer who had invested in local sourcing to show the opportunities in local industry. EDD arranged for H&M to visit a number of factories in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in late May 2018. We are engaging the company further and look forward to a positive response based responsible corporate sourcing that creates manufacturing jobs in South Africa. READ HERE >>
 
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FEATURE
STITCHING THE EMPEROR’S CLOTHES
ETHIOPIA’S – FIVE YEAR GROWTH PLAN TARGETS

Currently in its mid-term, Ethiopia’s Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP II) – launched in 2016 to run for a span of five years – is feared to be “likely unattainable”, ministers and other government officials said. At an evaluation meeting the deputy commissioner of the National Planning Commission (NPC) told MPs, ministers and others officials that most of the set targets in the GTP II, which were deemed to be achievable by the end of 2020, were found to be way farther from attainment.

The Ethiopian Minister of Science & Technology stated that the textile and leather subsectors were found to be the worst performing areas of the industry sector. The ministers reached a common agreement that the most anticipated manufacturing sector has not yet been able to play a role in the growth and transformation process of the country. The fact that the country's trade balance has reached a point where debt sustainability stress has stifled major projects and had led some projects to be shelved. READ HERE >>

Ethiopia's GTP I - 2010/11 to 2014/15
Ethiopia’s Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP I) for the period set itself the objective of bringing about a significant increase in exports. To achieve this it was planned to increase foreign exchange earnings from merchandise exports from US$2bn in 2009/10 to US$6.5bn in 2014/15. The actual achievement fell far short of the target - the average performance in terms of export earnings from merchandise exports stood at US$3.1bn during the planned period. In the period Ethiopia planned to generate about US$1bn from exports of textiles and apparel; and a further US$500m from exports of leather and leather products. The export earnings from the textile and garment industry sub-sector stood at US$98.1m which showed significant improvement compared to the base year but it remained far below the US$1bn target set for the end of the plan period. In this subsector 40,000 job opportunities were targeted but only 50% of the target was achieved. Only 5.7% of the export targets were met. In the period 2014/15 the export earnings from manufacturing stood at US$409m which is only 22.5% of the US$1.82bn target set for the final year of GTP I. For the full GTP I plan document SEE HERE >>.

Ethiopia's GTP II - 2015/16 to 2019/20
In the GTP II the following textile and apparel industrialisation targets were set for the textile and apparel industry. “By improving production capacity, productivity, quality and competitiveness of the textile and garment sub-sector, attracting more quality investments, ensuring sustainable and reliable input supply, forging strong input and market linkages, increasing the export performance significantly, strengthening its role in job creation and structural changes, it is planned to manufacture US$2.18bn worth of production and earn US$779m in export revenue by the end of plan period. Average production capacity utilisation of this subsector will reach 80% by 2019/20. In terms of employment, 174,000 job opportunities will be created in this subsector and it is set to reduce the carbon emission of the sector by 25% by the end of the plan period". For the full GTP II plan document SEE HERE >>.

Comment
Of course its not the current dismal performance of the Ethiopian cotton, textile and apparel sector that alone has been responsible for the country missing its ambitious economic growth targets.

The fact that Ethiopia is now going to miss the growth targets set for it GTP II is most probably mainly a reflection of the naïve thinking of some of its planners - thinking along the lines of “we missed our growth targets set in GTP I so we will make-up for missing these targets by taking what we missed and adding it to the targets we were going to set for GTP II”.

Only unique economic circumstances will make a “double down” approach work.

A range of factors have been responsible for Ethiopia missing its growth targets. Bottlenecks have been observed related to the provision of well-developed industrial premises, the supply of infrastructure, regular power supply, trade and customs facilitation, transport and logistics, credit access, technological and business management support particularly focused on domestic private firms, a lack of select manufacturing inputs, a recent massive shortage of foreign exchange, etc.

Obviously the fact that the country has been, and to some extent still is, wracked by political instability has not helped. In this regard in the past few months the country has made impressive gains. The new Prime Minister has managed to resolve long standing political disputes both internally and with neighbours – of course more needs to be done to resolve ethnically based secessionist pressures especially in areas near to the flagship Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP).

From a textile and apparel perspective it would appear that one of the main issues that has held back the massive expansion of the sector is the issue of manufacturing human resources. It is possible that unless some of these HR matters are attended to urgently, or are given substantially more financial resources, that they could prove to be a significant additional break on the country reaching its any where near its set development targets.

It was never going to be easy, within a short period of time, to transform the sons and daughters of a rural peasantry into a skilled industrial working class. This was, however, something that state planners should have foreseen when developing an ambitious industrialisation strategy that was, in many ways, centered on a high-employment impact textile and apparel manufacturing sector.

A number of significant skills development programmes have now been put in place in order to train workers for industry. Many of these interventions have been funded, and conceptualised, by some of the large international development donors that operate in Ethiopia. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID); and the German Government’s international development arm (the Corporation for International Cooperation - popularly known as the “GIZ”) have been at the forefront.

The Hawassa Industrial Park Screening, Training, Enrollment & Recruitment (HIPSTER) intervention was developed by a team including the DFID funded’ Enterprise Partners development programme. It was developed for rollout at the HIP after members of the local Investors Association (IA) expressed concerns with regards to how they would source labour that could be easily assimilated into the work environment. Apparently, the IA requested assistance from the Ethiopian Government. HIPSTER aims to facilitate the sourcing, the selection, the grading, and the training in soft skills of a total of 30,000 potential workers over a period of two years and six months.
READ HERE >>
[NOTE: I believe that many other development projects and government interventions in sub-Saharan Africa that look at skills development within the apparel and footwear industry can learn a lot from the principles that underpin HIPSTER. Its something that is worth replicating.]

One part of the GIZ’s intervention focusses on vocational training. They have also developed a programme closely involving business in the training process. Approximately 70% of course content is to be delivered in companies; and 30% in vocational schools. READ HERE >>

From a distance it appears that a lot of the training interventions are correct. It does however appear that most of it may be described as “too little, too late”.

Other Ethiopian HR matters simmering below the surface are the issues of minimum wages (well there are none in Ethiopia), and broadly defined industrial relations. Unless significant attention is put into these matters it is predicted that they could eventually (perhaps sooner rather than later) put a massive break on Ethiopia’s late stage industrial revolution and its ambitious growth targets.

Unless addressed in a proactive way there will continue to be explosions of industrial unrest which will drive away potential investors, and this unrest will disrupt the operations of those that are already manufacturing in the country (which will exacerbate on time delivery problems). Furthermore, the existing operations of most manufacturers will be constantly disrupted by workers simply leaving factory employment as they may not see the value of working for pittance wages (and benefits).

Of course its easy to see the logic of Ethiopia marketing itself as a low wage cost country. But this can backfire to the extent that it can attract businesses whose sole point is to take advantage of some of the lowest cost garment manufacturing labour cost anywhere in the world. Those employers more interested in maximising sweat than being in the country developing sustainable businesses.

Since March 2018 it is known that there have been a series of wildcat work stoppages in a number of Ethiopian apparel and footwear manufacturing enterprises. Some weeks back this newsletter reported on industrial action that took place in a number of factories in the Bole Lemi Industrial Park (the strike action appeared to centre on the South Korean owned Shints facility
SEE >>). More recently (in early July 2018) there were reports of a work-stoppage at the Silver Spark Apparel factory (owned by Indian parent – Raymond SEE >>) in the HIP. I am sure that there are many more unreported work stoppages.

Many strikes have followed a common pattern – workers want better pay; perhaps they want a union; strike ringleaders are often heavily sanctioned; and, sometimes a range of government agencies get intimately involved in the strikes and their aftermath. The apparel brands and retailers sourcing goods from factories in the country do their best to keep a lid on knowledge of the disputes – hoping, somehow, that the underlying causes of the disputes will simply go away. Undoubtedly many will hope that the proposed International Labour Organisation’s Ethiopian BetterWork programme (another donor subsidised programme; that rarely has a planned exit strategy) will be able to wave a magic wand and make all problems disappear. [NOTE: BetterWork will not be able to address the issue of wages!]

Other archaic grossly unfair labour practices are rumoured to be taking place. The worst that has come to my attention is the allegation that groups of manufacturing enterprises in some Ethiopian industrial parks are banding together (perhaps with the knowledge of the brands / retailers that they make garments for) and are implementing recruitment policies which provide that manufacturing firms will not poach production staff from each other.

Fair enough some may say – some companies are investing in training and companies that do not should not be able to poach staff from the companies that do. But a consequence of this is that if a worker hears that there is a better paying job at one factory they will not be allowed to go and work there; in addition if a worker in one factory is so fed up with their supervisor they will find it difficult to resign because they will not be able to find employment elsewhere. Its ironic that perhaps one of the main market instruments that could see average wage levels rise – THE MARKET – is perhaps being denied to workers. In effect, without a worker’s consent (and knowledge), they are subject to unwritten unfair restraint of trade contracts!

It has also been reported that married women are often overlooked for employment in the sector because there is a fear that any pregnancy will disrupt their existing production.

Of course in any situation there are many employers who treat their workers respectfully and responsibly; however its only takes the actions and practices of a handful of bad employers in order to negatively affect all employers.

The Ethiopian authorities should start to seriously look company industrial relations practices; and address the issue of minimum wages for unless this is done these issues may contribute to Ethiopia continuing to not meet even the most modest economic grow targets.
 
FACT OF THE WEEK
ZIMBABWE'S TOP 15 TEXTILE (HS50 - 60)
EXPORT DESTINATIONS IN 2017
TABLE SHOWING TOP 15 EXPORT DESTINATIONS FOR  ZIMBABWEAN TEXTILES    [This image can be seen if you enable
Source: Comtrade
ZIMBABWE'S TOP 15 GARMENTS (HS61 - 62)
EXPORT DESTINATIONS IN 2017
Source: Comtrade
 
RESEARCH & PRESENTATIONS
 
"Market Entry Constraints for African Cotton”. Matthias Knappe (Programme Manager, Fibres, Textiles & Clothing, Division of Enterprises and Institutions, International Trade Centre (ITC)). Presentation to a symposium organised by the WTO’s Agriculture & Commodities Division; and, the WTO’s Institute for Training & Technical Cooperation. 14 June 2018.

Synopsis: Power Point Presentation. 1. Policy responses to respond to market developments. 1.1. Africa-wide adoption of voluntary standards (“identity cottons”) and branding efforts; 1.2. Introducing wide scale instrument-testing of bales; 1.3. Ensure bale marking for market price function to work; 1.4. Brandings efforts for hand-picked cotton. 2. Overcoming internal constraints. 3. Increasing fibre value addition; 3.1. Attracting investments into fibre value addition by mobilizing existing customers; 3.2. Stimulating artisanal consumption while increasing farmer resilience; 3.3. Investing into cotton by-products. The Power Point presentation can be accessed HERE >>. For the full paper write to: editor@africantextilesandapparel.com


The Structure and Performance of the Ethiopian Manufacturing Sector”. Arkebe Oqubay (a Minister in the Ethiopian government, and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed). Working Paper Series N°299 of the African Development Bank. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 2018.

Synopsis: Although Ethiopia has emerged as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, its manufacturing sector is still far from being an engine of growth and economic transformation. It currently plays a marginal role in employment creation, exports, and output, and falls short on stimulating domestic linkages. The sector is dominated by small firms and resource-based industries, low-value and low-technology products, and weak inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral linkages. The manufacturing sector’s export orientation has been low and stagnant. Based on data and evidence from the past 25 years, the paper provides an in-depth analysis of the structure and performance of the Ethiopian manufacturing sector and further explores the reasons behind the ‘paradox’ of the slow growth of industrial outputs and structural shifts. Since the mid-2010s, however, there are some promising signals that the manufacturing sector might be coming out of its doldrums and showing positive dynamics. The paper summarizes the growing challenges of building an industrial workforce and domestic capability, together with export capacity. The findings from this study show a bias for hope, as well as a potential structural transformation. The full paper can be READ HERE >>.
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Sourcing at Magic - Trade Show - 12-15 August 2018. Las Vegas, United States. For more information: www.ubmfashion.com
  • International Textile Manufacturers' Federation (ITMF) - Annual Conference - 7-9 September 2018. Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: www.itmf.org
  • Origin Africa – Trade Show - 9-11 September 2018. Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: www.originafrica.org
  • Apparel Sourcing Paris - Trade Show - 17-20 September 2018. Paris, France. For more information: www.apparelsourcing.fr.messefrankfurt.com
  • Organic Round Table - workshop organised by the Textile Exchange and Catholic Relief Services - 28 September 2018. Koudougou, Burkina Faso. For more information: SEE HERE >>
  • Africa Sourcing & Fashion Week (ASFW) - Trade Show - 1-4 October 2018. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.asfw-online.com
  • Maroc Sourcing 2018 - Trade Show - 11-12 October 2018. Marrakech, Morocco. For more information: www.marocsourcing.ma
  • Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference - Annual Conference - 22-24 October 2018. Milan, Italy. For more Information: www.textileexchange.org
  • Destination Africa - Trade Show - 17-19 November 2018. Cairo, Egypt. For more information: www.destination-africa.org
  • ATF Expo - Trade Show - 20-23 November 2018. Cape Town, South Africa. For more information: www.atfexpo.co.za
  • 77th Plenary Meeting - International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) - Annual Conference - 2-7 December 2018. Abidjan, Ivory Coast. For more information: www.icac.org and SEE HERE >>
  • Morocco Fashion & Textile - Trade Show - 28-31 March 2019, Casablanca, Morocco, For more information: www.moroccostyle.net
  • Source Africa - Trade Show - 12-14 June 2019. Cape Town, South Africa. For more information: www.sourceafrica.co.za
 
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about Mark Bennett - Editor

"The African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor"
I have almost 30 years' experience working in Africa's cotton, textiles and apparel value chain. Initially I was, for 15 years, a sector trade unionist in South Africa; then, from 2004 onwards, I worked as a development consultant for various Southern / Eastern African governments, and domestic private sectors. In my development activities I have been engaged by private sector foundations, and by DFID and USAID funded contractors. I find it rewarding creating development interventions that help cotton, textiles and apparel stakeholders to better processes, improve productivity, increase sales and add investment. See my full CV at Devex or LinkedIn.
 
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