Local multi-million dollar clothing industry is dormant

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China dominates the export market

Although the Ghanaian garment industry is seen as a major path to industrialization, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) said that low-cost, high-volume competing garment exports from China and other Asian countries in the world market continually exceed Ghana’s exports.

The outlook for the sector is linked to the relative speed with which it can be set up and the significant impact on job creation, particularly in industrial settings.

Despite the many opportunities available to industry in Ghana – including unexplored niches in the global market such as the original Woven Kente, the market potentials of the diaspora; proximity to global clothing markets – Europe and America; and the existence of bilateral and regional trade agreements such as the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), inadequate promotion of Ghanaian textiles and Afrocentric fashion in the traditional clothing channels abroad remains a scourge of the sector.

Currently, the industry employs over 6,000 Ghanaians and exports over US $ 30 million on average per year. The sector’s export revenue in 2020, according to GEPA, was US $ 43 million, compared to US $ 137.4 billion in clothing and accessories that China alone exported to the market last year. American.

But GEPA, in its 10-year national export development strategy for the non-traditional export sector, says its export earnings for 2021 are expected to reach $ 52 million by December.

The authority indicates that it is currently reviewing the financial situation of existing clothing companies in order to roll out a financing program to meet the financing needs of the industry.

GEPA said it will also provide strong capacity building and financial support to upgrade the members of the Ghana Garment Manufacturers Association to become a self-sustaining national industry. There are approximately 14 local garment manufacturers who export primarily to the United States under AGOA.

In a divergent way, Afrocentric products and clothing – which fall under the products of the creative arts industry, do not seem to have been highly prioritized by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) in recent years, and even currently.

Although Ghana has the potential for a vibrant and thriving creative arts industry – from music, fashion, theater to architecture, visual arts and design – the focus is still on developing talent. in the music industry to the detriment of other niches.

However, GEPA believes that a concerted effort and strategic partnerships with key industry players and institutions would greatly increase the prospects for the sector. Thus, the authority seeks to promote and support investments, including FDI in industry, with the production of accessories and intermediate products such as zippers, yarn, cotton and synthetic fabrics in the framework of key policy interventions to further increase export trade revenues.