Botswana to get garment training centre

Botswana to get garment training centre
Farhan Ghafoor (left); Shahid Ghafoor, President of Botswana Textiles and Clothing Association (right),

The Botswana government has given the go-ahead for the Textile and Clothing Institute of Botswana (TCIB), the first of its kind in the country, to overcome a chronic shortage of skilled workers that has negatively impacted the textiles sector for many years.

Its founder, Shahid Ghafoor, president of the Botswana Textile and Clothing Association, said TCIB was offering one-year certificate courses in clothing manufacturing in a wide variety of skills, Botswana's news website Mmegi Online has reported.

“Our faculty and staff will be dedicated to providing candidates with face-to-face teaching, hands-on learning and workforce development to ensure our country has an educated, skilled population and competitive workforce,” he said.

Ghafoor, who is also the Managing Director of Western Apparels, said the institution, with an area of 1,000 square metres, is located at the Gaborone West Industrial. It aims to be a renowned training and technical service provider to cater for the growth and needs of the textile and clothing industry.

“Our mission is to facilitate sustainable development of the regional and local textile and clothing industry by nurturing a competent workforce with specialised skills,” he said.

The courses, known as certificate in clothing manufacture, will have three levels covering cutting, embroidery, design and pattern making, garment assembly, sewing, commercial sewing skills and mechanics.

Ghafoor said all the programmes were designed by clothing industry professionals so that students who take up the course, can thrive in the textile and clothing industry.

Preparations for the official opening are at an advanced stage.

He said the establishment of the training centre was motivated by shortage of skilled manpower. “Getting skilled manpower is a big challenge for the local textile industry,” he added. “This hampers our wishes of developing this industry so that it can end up exporting to the US through African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).”

He said the establishment of TCIB and the recent extension of AGOA will offer opportunities for local clothing manufacturers to export their products.

AGOA is a unilateral trade arrangement by the U.S for African countries to penetrate the U.S market duty-free. But currently, there is only one company in Botswana is taking advantage of this trade arrangement, the website said.

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