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VALUE CHAIN NEWS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT - EVERY TUESDAY
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LOGO OF THE
NEWS & RESEARCH FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
(#32 / 2018 - 30 October 2018)
www.africantextilesandapparel.com
In 2017 the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) project supported 1.3m farmers who produced 496,000 mt lint cotton
In 2017 the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) project operated in African countries (and 2 candidate states)
In 2017 the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) project worked with 18 African cotton companies (and 6 candidate firms)
NEWS

SOUTH AFRICA – POLITICAL PARTY T-SHIRTS, 26 October 2018
South Africa’s Higher Education minister has challenged all political parties to ensure that the millions of t-shirts they will order for the 2019 election should be made in South Africa. Political t-shirts are extremely popular in South Africa, and many t-shirts and related products (e.g. caps, bandannas, etc) are inevitably made in China. The Minister challenged the textile industry to be ready to produce orders of a million t-shirts a week. READ HERE >>

Comment
Its rich, but I guess not surprising, that the African National Congress (ANC) is now saying that political parties should now buy their t-shirts locally. For years they have been procuring huge numbers of t-shirts that have been made outside of South Africa – and, I guess, its most probably going to be the case that many of the ANC t-shirts procured for the next general election will be made outside of South Africa, or at least the fabrics used to make them will be made outside of South Africa.

Some years back it was revealed that part of the ANC’s supply chain of political t-shirts included garments made in China. Some of these garments were supplied by a Taiwanese-born South African businessperson, Jen Chih “Robert” Huang. Huang has links with former President Zuma’s family. It was widely reported that the South African Revenue Services (SARS) detained a multi-million Rand consignment of ANC campaign t-shirts organised by Huang before the country’s April 2014 general election – and that this was one of the factors that fed into the leadership purge of SARS. Journalist sources say that Huang's t-shirt consignment was stopped on entry into the country pending the payment of duties and taxes – which apparently the importer did not want to pay.
READ HERE >>

Huang owns “Mpisi Trading 74”, which reportedly is a massive textile and apparel clearing agency based in Johannesburg. It has been reported that it owes South Africa’s tax collection agency more than R3bn (US$204m). More information can be SEEN HERE >> and SEEN HERE >>.

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The noises of the ruling ANC that political parties should buy their soft election gear locally will be music to the ears of the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU –
SEE>>). It has for a long time been campaigning for political parties and the affiliates of the trade union federation that they are members of – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) - should buy South African made election apparel made with South African origin fabrics.

Of course this buy local only philosophy did not stop SACTWU from importing (in 2018) the fabrics to make the iconic Mandela centenary t-shirt (
SEE >>) at one of its wholly owned factories – TCI Apparel (SEE >>). The fabric used to make these t-shirts was made in Mauritius at another wholly SACTWU owned textile and apparel factory – Star Knitwear (SEE >>). Of course keeping the manufacture of the fabrics in the SACTWU textile-apparel value chain may have made commercial sense - all revenue streams are important for companies battling in challenging economic times.
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In other SACTWU clothing manufacturing news – its been reported that the union's stable of wholly owned manufacturing enterprises is bigger than was previously thought. Its now known that another clothing factory – the Durban based “Market Demand Trading” - is now in its stable. Its said that Market Demand Trading - a supplier of garments to higher end South Africa apparel retailers - used to be owned by a relative of the current TCI Apparel chair and CEO, Herman Pillay. The SACTWU clothing group now consists of TCI Apparel (with factories in Durban, Cape Town and Ladysmith); Zenzeleni Clothing a workwear manufacturer with operations in Durban; and Market Demand Trading. It has been reported that SACTWU now also intends opening a further garment factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.

SACTWU must now be considered to be the single largest clothing manufacturing employer in South Africa.
Perhaps ... just perhaps ... SOCIALISM is just around the corner!


KENYA – TEXTILE & APPAREL SECTOR SUGGESTIONS, 20 October 2018
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has released a report: “Manufacturing in Kenya Under the ‘Big 4 Agenda’: A Sector Deep-Dive”. The report provides a brief overview of the status of the manufacturing sector in Kenya through the dissection of each of the key sub-sectors that constitute the manufacturing industry in the country – including the textiles and apparel sector.

On textiles and apparel it states the following: “This sector is one of the most labour-intensive and can play an important role in alleviating unemployment especially among the youth. EPZ based manufacturers employ 52,000 people. The local sector directly employs about 21,000 people in formal sector and over 30,000 informally.”

The report identifies a number of challenges facing the textile and apparel value chain, including: the different taxation regimes for EPZ and non-EPZ sector manufacturers, the high cost of industrial inputs, the illicit import trade, the high cost of electricity, the non-preference of locally made product over imports, the high cost of finance, the current common external tariff structure of the East African Community that does not encourage value addition up to the finished products; non-tariff barrier hindering exports; and, inadequate training and capacity building. To see the full report READ HERE >> see pages 8-10.

Comment
Its interesting to see that the KAM textile and apparel caucus made no specific comments about the cost of sector wages and working conditions. Although 14 words towards the end of the report referenced wages as an issue. I guess, therefore, that Kenyan textile and apparel manufacturers would have no problem in paying the 5% minimum wages increase that was announced by the Kenyan President at a May Day rally on 1 May 2018? The President promised increase has still yet to be gazetted ... or has this issue already been settled?

KAM’s textile and apparel lobby complains about non tariff barriers that hinder exports - yet at the same time they propose their own set of instruments to protect their own market which most probably amount to a set non-tariff barriers. Seems to me that members of KAM want it both ways!


KENYA – COUNTERFEIT TEXTILES SEIZED, 12 October 2018
Counterfeit goods cumulatively valued at Sh8.5bn (US$84.2m) have been seized by government agencies from May to October 2018, according to the CEO of the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA). Most of the goods seized were household appliances, foodstuffs, motor vehicle spare parts, cooking gas, cigarettes and textiles. READ HERE >>


KENYA – MANUFACTURERS REQUEST TAX BREAKS, 16 October 2018
Kenyan manufacturers have called for tax breaks to boost their competitiveness. The chairperson for Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) said that the current production costs in Kenya are approximately 10% higher compared to other low-cost manufacturing nations. READ HERE >>


KENYA – TEXTILE PLANT REVIVAL, 16 October 2018
Eldoret based Shiv Construction Company Limited is finalising the renovation of Rivatex spinning and weaving mill after it received a KSh3bn (US$30m) grant from the Indian government to facilitate technology transfer, and the purchase of new machines. In the new revival deal, India-based Lakshmi Machine Works Limited will supply the factory’s textile machinery. READ HERE >>



KENYA – AUCTION OF UNCLAIMED TEXTILES & APPAREL, 19 October 2018
Gazette Advertisement: Customs & Border Control Department: Goods to be Sold at Customs Warehouse. Pursuant to the provisions of s42 of the East African Community Customs Management Act (2004) notice is given that unless the under-mentioned goods are entered and removed from the Customs Warehouse within 30 days from the date of this notice, they will be sold by public auction on 20th November 2018. Interested buyers may view the goods at the Customs Warehouse on 15th November 2018 and 16th November, 2018. READ KENYA GAZETTE NOTICE HERE >> (pages 3592 – 3618).

Comment
There are many containers of textiles, apparel and footwear possibly up for auction. Its unclear if people buying these goods, via the public auction, will have to pay the import duties applicable to the goods or not. Whatever the case it would be interesting to establish if the East African Community (EAC) customs authorities have in place policies to deal with surrendered / seized textile and apparel products.

In South Africa the customs authorities used to sell surrendered / seized textiles and apparel by public auction until it was pointed out that this practice resulted in significant damage to the domestic industries manufacturing these goods. After all customs duties are not only imposed to collect revenue – they are often in place to protect domestic industry. Seized counterfeit apparel and footwear is now returned back to the licensee holders who destroy the goods; smuggled goods are destroyed or are exported out of the country. In some instances goods have been donated, as development aid, by the South African government to countries where natural disasters have recently occurred.

If the EAC is intent on developing a regional domestically focused textile and apparel industry it must develop a policy on what should be done with unclaimed / seized textiles and apparel.



EAST AFRICA - PVH PERSONNEL CHANGES, October 2018
One hears frequent rumours that PVH is reorganising the management of its East African operations. Its understood that a number of its senior staff deployed to the region have now moved on.

Some time ago PVH has this to say about their operations in Ethiopia:
"To evolve our supply chain and become more dynamic, we began producing goods in Ethiopia during the first half of 2017 through a joint venture that we formed with Arvind Limited. Products produced by the joint venture are mainly sold in the United States under our heritage brands. Through the manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, we are able to produce products at a cost advantage, while also maintaining a strong commitment to corporate responsibility."
SEE >>

Comment
Why the staff churn? Could it be that things are not going as PVH planned? Is the turnover a reflection of how difficult things are? Has PVH head office perhaps become impatient with the lack of progress? Are some of PVH's manaufacturing vendors concerened with the slow progress they are making in Ethiopia? Is PVH's Mark Green wanting a new team to execute a new plan?

Of course PVH's East African dream cannot be over - too much time and resources have already been committed by the US headquartered clothing conglomerate for its significant African expansion plan to fail.
I certainly hope that they succeed and that they do so quickly - for if they do succeed it may result in additional US retailer expansions elsewhere in Africa.


ZIMBABWE – CLOTHING EXPORTS TO SOUTH AFRICA, 14 October 2018
Harare listed clothing retailer, Edgars Stores Limited has resumed exports after a decade as it seeks to improve its revenue base through foreign currency generation. Edgar’s Zimbabwe owns the Carousel Private Limited factory in Bulawayo. The firm’s managing director said: “We have started exporting and we sent an order to Edgars South Africa, our parent company a few weeks ago and within two weeks of export about 160 garments have been sold. We are doing what we call toll manufacturing agreement where our customer in South Africa supplies the fabrics and sends through the trims (zippers, buttons, among other ornaments) then we produce and beneficiate it then send it back to the customer. So what we are generally doing is we are converting the labour, electricity costs and whatever else goes on into it, into forex, so the supplier then pays us for producing,” READ HERE >>

Comment
How will all of this pan out? In November 2018 the colonial bi-lateral trade deal between Zimbabwe and South Africa will end. Zimbabwe manufacturers will be forced to trade with South Africa in terms of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade. This protocol’s trade rules of origin are clear - if Zimbabwean made garments want to enter South Africa free of customs duties they have to be made with fabrics sourced from within SADC. It will not be acceptable for fabrics to be imported into South Africa from outside of SADC and then sent to Zimbabwe for further processing – even if the South African importer pays the customs duties on these fabrics.


ZIMBABWE – STATE OF THE COTTON-TEXTILE INDUSTRY, April-June 2018
According to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance the country’s cotton textile industry is as follows:
  • “Textiles and Ginning: Capacity utilisation for the sub sector improved from around 25% in 2017 to around 40% by June 2018. Again, employment levels increased to 3,097 as at April 2018, from 2,700 recorded during the same period in 2017. The increase was largely underpinned by the resuscitation of some companies as well as boost from command agriculture due to increased demand in some products such as grain bags along the value chain.
  • “Blankets Manufacturers: The subsector’s capacity utilisation remains subdued largely due to illegal imports of cheap blankets, mainly from China, as well as challenges in foreign currency to secure raw materials. Since the adoption of the multicurrency, the subsector has witnessed very minimal exports as it cannot compete on the international market due to high cost of production, among other challenges. Consequently, Waverly Blankets, the remaining blanket manufacturer, is currently operating at around 35% capacity. Again, as a result of the above viability challenges, Bulawayo’s most iconic blanket makers, National Blankets has collapsed.
  • "Cotton: Cotton deliveries stood at 49,136,445 kgs as at 27 June 2018 compared to 20,347,427 kgs sold during the same period last year. The bulk of deliveries went to Cottco in line with the support provided to farmers by Government. Output for the season is expected to reach 137,000 tons, up from an initial projection of 130,000 tons, largely driven by increased input support by Government. In 2019, cotton production is expected to increase to 200,000 tons, benefiting from the ongoing early disbursement of inputs by Government. See Table below.
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WEBINAR
AGOA PREFERENCE PROGRAMME CAN MITIGATE TRUMP'S 301 DUTIES

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (STR) - AGOA for Apparel, Hats & Bags

"The African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) duty-free preference program was extended by Congress through to September 2025. With the Administration’s new approach to trade from China and the renegotiation of NAFTA, the AGOA duty-free program is a great alternative, including for hats and bags that were just hit with 10-25% additional duties from China. Join STR to learn how you can minimise duty payments. This webinar will cover: AGOA rules of origin for knit and woven apparel, sweaters, hat, bags, textile articles, rules related to findings and trimmings and other components, and the documents required to support an AGOA duty-free claim. READ HERE >>

Comment
As has been commented upon by this blog in the past if the Trump Administration continues with trade sanctions on China – eventually additional duties will be placed on Chinese made apparel. This will present some significant opportunities for sub-Saharan African apparel producers. Especially those with spare capacity.
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SENEGAL – COTTON PRODUCTION DROPS SHARPLY, 15 October 2018
Senegal’s cotton production fell sharply by 52.1% in the first eight months of 2018 compared with the same period last year, the firm for the development of textile fibres (SODEFITEX) has announced. The production figure amounted to 6,400 tonnes against 13,363 tonnes in the first eight months of 2017. By the end of 2017, SODEFITEX’s total cotton production stood at 19,900 tonnes against 21,783 tonnes in 2016. READ HERE >>


ETHIOPIA - ITALIAN FACTORY INAUGURATED. 19 October 2018
The Italian apparel/fashion manufacturer company Calzedonia Group inaugurated ITACA Textile Plc., a US$15m investment, in Ashegoda, near Mekelle city, Tigray Regional State. During the inauguration, ITACA Textile CEO Federico Fraboni said the factory has already started exporting clothes to different European countries. ITACA Textile Plc. expects to earn ETB22m (US$787k) in a month by exporting to the global market. READ HERE >>


NIGERIA – TEXTILE UNION PROTEST STATE OF INDUSTRY, 14 October 2018
Kaduna textile workers protested the non-resuscitation of collapsed textiles industry in the north and called on the 19 Northern Governors to immediately put machinery on ground to revive the sector. READ HERE >>


SOUTH AFRICA – PICK N PAY CLOTHING EXPANDS, 16 October 2018
Pick n Pay’s unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the 26 weeks ended 26 August 2018. The Pick n Pay clothing division delivered strong double digit turnover growth this year, underpinned by a solid performance in both its womenswear and menswear departments. The Group opened 16 standalone clothing stores during the period. Pick n Pay clothing now has 193 stores, plus 17 franchised clothing stores. READ HERE >>


GHANA – TAX STAMP TO STOP SMUGGLING, 16 October 2018
Effective mid-November 2018, all textiles - both locally made or imported - will have to have a specially designed tax stamp sticker before they can be traded in Ghana. This measure aims to block avenues for smuggling, design piracy and tax evasion. READ HERE >>


SOUTH AFRICA – CUSTOMS SEIZURES, 16 October 2018
The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has released its latest customs busts statistics from 1 July 2018 to 30 September 2018. The total value of all goods confiscated amounts to R890.6m (US$62.7m).

Some of the statistics include: i) Narcotics: 152 busts valued at R38.7m (US$2.7m); ii) Cigarettes: 43 busts valued at R11.2m (US$789k); iii) CITES (including endangered species such as abalone): 10 busts valued at R198k (US$13.9k); iv) Currency: 3 busts valued at R18.6m (US$1.3m); v) Viagra / Viagra Generics: 20 busts valued at R4.8m (US$338k); vi) Alcohol: 96 busts valued at R1.8m (US$127k); vii) Counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods: 417 busts valued at R766.2m (US$54m); and, viii) Clothing and Textiles (second hand and other infringements): 118 busts valued at R1.2m(US$86k).

The Executive for Customs Investigations, Patrick Moeng, reaffirmed SARS’ continued commitment and collaboration with other government agencies and industry stakeholders in stemming the tide against illicit economy, with a specific focus on the clothing and textile, fuel, tobacco and cigarettes sectors. To date, due to this collaboration, more than 30 entities suspected of trading in illegal tobacco and cigarettes, as well as clothing and textile, have been visited in the past two weeks across the country for contravening various tax laws. READ HERE >>

Comment
SARS likes to bump-up its seizure figures with the value of counterfeits intercepted – it then blends all counterfeits into a single lot … but it highlights clothing and footwear. They are being crude spin doctors! They are being disingenuous. Perhaps they are doing their job to the best of their ability – but it shows how much ability they have. Apparently, approximately two thirds of all clothing that is imported into South Africa are cleared through four clearing agents. This is where SARS should focus its efforts; it should also focus their attention on the retailers that are selling goods.


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – COTTON MADE IN AFRICA DELEGATION VISITS TURKEY, 15 October 2018
On the initiative of Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), a 17-member delegation of African cotton producers traveled to Turkey to learn more about the processing of "their" raw materials in one of the largest textile production markets in the world. In ​​Istanbul, they visited an import organisation, a spinning mill and a clothing manufacturing plant. The aim of the trip was to better understand the needs of each supply chain member and meet the quality requirements within the cotton and textile production market. READ HERE >>
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DATA
KENYA
POTENTIAL REVENUE LOSSES ASSOCIATED
WITH TRADE MISINVOICING

Analysis of trade misinvoicing in Kenya in 2013 shows that the potential loss of revenue to the government is US$907m for the year. To put this figure in context, this amount represents eight percent of total annual government revenue as reported to the International Monetary Fund. Put still another way, the estimated value gap of all imports and exports represents approximately 23% of the country’s total trade. The portion of revenue lost due to import misinvoicing is US$767m. This amount can be further divided into its component parts: uncollected VAT tax (US$324m), customs duties (US$229m), and corporate income tax (US$214m). Lost revenue due to misinvoiced exports was US$140m for the year which is related to lower than expected corporate income and royalties.

Examination of the underlying commodity groups which comprise Kenya’s global trade show that a large amount of lost revenue (US$92m) was related to import under-invoicing of just five product types. Those products and the related estimated revenue losses include: mineral fuels (US$15m), electrical machinery (US$17m), vehicles (US$18m), cereals (US$21m), and worn clothing (US$21m).
In the case of import under-invoicing fewer VAT taxes and customs duties are collected due to the lower valuation of goods.

The smuggling of clothing - mainly by import underinvoicing - also kills domestic manufacturing enterprises focussed on making goods for the local market.

Potential Tariff Revenue Losses Due to Import Underinvoicing
by Commodity Group (in 2013 )
(Estimated potential revenue losses as a percent of value of total imports of each commodity group, in US)

Potential Tariff Revenue Losses Due to Import Underinvoicing
By Country (in 2014)
(Estimated potential revenue losses as a percent of value of total imports from each partner country, in US)
Source: "Kenya: Potential Revenue Losses Associated with Trade Misinvoicing". Global Financial Integrity. October 2018. SEE LINK >>
PROJECT NEWS
Ethiopia – World Bank Programme Update
Ethiopia Economic Opportunities Program

(World Bank Reference: P163829)

Looks like a new World Bank (WB) funded programme will, in many ways, be focused on assisting the Ethiopian Government to further develop its textile and apparel industry - including supporting the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Better Work Programme.
------------------------------------------------

WB Program Development Objective: to provide economic opportunities for Ethiopians and refugees in an environmentally and socially sustainable way PRESS RELEASE HERE >>. The full WB programme document can SEEN HERE >>

Programme Value: Total project cost USD$333.6m – for this component the WB will be contributing an additional US$202m (comprising an IDA Credit of of US$83.33m [maturity: 38 years, grace: 6 years]; and an IDA Grant of $118.67).

WB Programme Progress Comment (16 October 2018): This is the first Implementation & Status Report (ISR) since the Ethiopia Economic Opportunities Program was approved on 26 June 2018. The Program financing agreement is not yet effective as the effectiveness conditions have not been fully met. The deadline for effectiveness of the financing agreement, which was signed by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) on 29 June 2018 was extended from 27 September 2018 to 31 January 2019 to allow additional time for the GoE to meet the stated requirements. The WB team carried out a mission from 17-26 September 2018 to take stock of preparatory activities financed by the Program preparation advance, assess status of the GOE's fulfillment of the effectiveness conditions and follow-up with preparations for the Employment, Promotion and Protection pilot. SEE HERE >>

Some Extracts from the Word Bank October 2016 Review

Action Description: Develop a financial and economic modeling tool to assess financial and economic viability and return on investment of each industrial park (IP) development/investments (focus on the following IP – Bole Lemi I IP, Hawassa IP, Kombolcha IP, Mekelle IP). Stakeholders will include: Industrial Park Development Corporation (IPDC), and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC). Due Date: 30 June 2020.

Action Description: Institutional strengthening for targeted investment promotion and B2B export matchmaking activities based on investment promotion and B2B export matchmaking strategy. Due Date: 31 January 2020.

Action Description: Implement an investor tracking system. Due Date: 30 June 2019.

Action Description: Gaps identified in urban masterplans for industrial park locations communicated to the relevant institutions (Ministry of Urban Development & Construction) and regional government. Due Date: Annual Reporting.

Action Description: Develop environmental compliance standards and systems for industrial parks (Disclosure of Better Work compliance synthesis reports & MoLSA synthesis inspection reports). Stakeholders will include EIC. Due Date: 31 January 2020.

Comment
Transparency: Its really good that the WB maintains this level of transparency. It would be great if other publicly funded donor programmes also reported with this level of detail on their programme roll-outs? It would howevere be great to know how much resources the world bank (and its group of institutions) have devoted - directly and indirectly - to projects that support Ethiopia's textile and apparel industry.

Urban Masterplans: To prevent further industrial "greenwashing" it would be interesting to see if the scoping, and then development, of environmentally secure industrial solid waste landfills takes place. As I have said in previous editions of this blog it does no good to boast about zero liquid waste water treatment facilities - then to irresponsibly dump the textile dyestuff solid waste residues in totally inadequately designed and managed landfills.

An Investor Tracking System: The WB and Ethiopia could learn a could of lessons from Lesotho on an investor tracking system. In Lesotho the WB facilitated the development of an investor tracking system for the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) - but the system was never used. Was this a poor system; or were the LNDC not inspired enough to use it?

The ILO's Better Work: There appear to have been delays in establishing the ILO's Better Work (SEE >>) programme in Ethiopia. Could it be that the Ethiopian Better Work staffers and office infrastructure would be employed with monies from this WB loan/grant? - and since the Ethiopian government has clearly not met any of the preconditions in order for the loan/grant funds to start flowing that Better Work staff cannot be employed and offices opened up in the industrial parks?
RESEARCH

Local Firms in Madagascar’s Apparel Export Sector: Technological Capabilities and Participation in Global Value Chains”. L. Whitfield, C. Staritz. Working Paper 2018: 3. Center of African Economies Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University.

Synopsis: Structural transformation involves moving the economy away from a set of assets based on primary products exploited by unskilled labor toward knowledge-based assets exploited by skilled labour. The term technological capabilities refers to these knowledge-based assets—the technical, organizational and managerial skills necessary to achieve international levels of efficiency and quality. The objective of this working paper is to measure and assess the technological capabilities of local firms in the apparel export industry in Madagascar, as a first step before analyzing and explaining how firms have achieved these capabilities. In doing so, it uses original data generated from a firm-level survey specifically designed to measure technological capabilities based on strategically selected indicators across different categories of capabilities in apparel exports. Despite difficult country-specific conditions, particularly related to political instability, local apparel exporting firms have built significant levels of technological capabilities - but segmented along ethnic and product lines. The specific types of international linkages played an important role in capability building, particularly the specific niche and higher value product specialization that comes with a particular set of buyers and related global value chain dynamics as well as the more embedded types of foreign investment due to diaspora linkages with local firms and regional production strategies. To read the full paper SEE HERE >>.


Africa's Pulse – No. 17: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future”. World Bank Group. Washington, D.C. October 2018.

Synopsis: Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to have picked up to 2.7% in 2018 from 2.3% in 2017, barely above population growth. The region's economic recovery continues but at a slower pace than expected (0.4 percentage points lower than the April forecast), due to downward growth revisions in the three largest economies in the region. The road ahead is bumpy. On the supply side, the moderate recovery reflected higher oil prices and better agricultural conditions following droughts. On the demand side, growth was supported by consumer spending amid eased inflation and public investment - especially among non-resource-rich countries. The external environment became less favorable for Sub-Saharan Africa. Global trade and industrial production lost momentum. Metals and agricultural prices fell due to concerns about trade tariffs and weakening demand prospects, while oil prices were on an upward trend. The tightness of oil supply suggests that oil prices are likely to remain elevated through the rest of the year and into 2019. Metals prices have been lower than previously forecasted and may remain subdued in 2019 and 2020 amid muted demand, particularly in China. Financial market pressures intensified in some key emerging markets and developing economies. Concern about dollar-denominated debt has risen among emerging markets amid a stronger US dollar. To read the full paper SEE HERE >>.
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • EGYTEX 2018 - Trade Show - 28-30 October 2018. Cairo, Egypt. For more information: www.egytexfairs.com
  • Cotton House Africa - Pan African Cotton Conference - 1-3 November 2018. Kampala, Uganda. For more information: Cotton House Africa
  • 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 >>
  • Sourcing at Magic - Trade Show - 4-7 February 2019. Las Vegas, United States. For more information: www.ubmfashion.com
  • Morocco Fashion & Textile - Trade Show - 28-31 March 2019. Casablanca, Morocco, For more information: www.moroccostyle.net
  • Intertex Tunisia - Trade Show - 4-6 April 2019. Tunis, Tunisia. For more information: www.intertextunisia.com
  • 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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