NAIROBI – Leading brands have been looking at Africa for several years as a potential apparel sourcing hub, due in large part to rising wages in China. Ethiopia has captured most of the attention here, allowing another East African nation to slip quietly under the radar. Kenya is actually viewed as a better bet by many brands, and the likes of H&M, Levi’s and VF Corp have already set up tentative sourcing options in the region. In a major new report, the publishers of Apparel Insider will look at the opportunities and threats of Kenya as an apparel sourcing option.
The government of Kenya’s Vision 2030 has identified the garment and textile sector in Kenya as a driver of industrialisation. Currently the sector contributes less than 7 per cent of the country’s export earnings, however, it is felt the sector can benefit by expanding its market to free trade areas where it is currently a member, including the African Continental Free Trade Area, the East African Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Kenya has also signed crucial trade deals with the European Union African Caribbean and Pacific (Cotonou Agreement) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Kenya is not only a trade centre of East Africa, but also has the advantage of geographical gateway. It naturally links landlocked countries in eastern and central Africa , such as Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and northern Tanzania.
This special report will look at:
- The current state and make-up of Kenya’s textile and apparel industry
- Logistical issues regarding Kenya textiles and apparel exports
- Wage rates for textile workers and future directions, including minimum wage and other labour laws
- Access to raw materials for the sector and likely dependence on imports of, for instance, cotton moving forwards, including cotton policies
- Utilities challenges for Kenya’s textile industry, including telecoms, water, electricity etc
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