TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Lesotho’s textile sector reaps big rewards from AGOA

Wednesday, 09 November 2016 Published: | Kevin Mwanza

Source: AFK Insider

The textiles and garments industry in Lesotho, exported at least $330 million worth of products to the U.S. last year, making it the country’s largest private-sector employer as the nation reaps big from the African and Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The tiny Southern African nation is one of the African nations benefiting from the trade pact signed in 2000, allowing at least 6,000 products from 38 sub-Saharan African to enter the U.S. market duty free.

About 80 percent of the nation’s textiles and garment exports go to the U.S., according to the Lesotho Textile Exporters Association. The sector currently supports over 44,000 jobs.

Several factories in the nation’s industrial district of Thetsane, in the capital Maseru, export nearly $250 million annually in garments to leading U.S. brands like Old Navy, Walmart and Levis, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Non-oil exports from sub-Saharan nations to the world’s economic giant enjoyed a boom in the last 15 years, after an increase from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $4.1 billion last year.

Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritius and Swaziland are leading in garment exports to the U.S. while South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, leads in automobiles.

South Africa however remains the biggest beneficiary of AGOA, recording $1.7 billion worth of goods to the U.S. last year.

African countries must however maximize on the trade pact that will expire in 2025, according to Moono Mupotola, director of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Regional Integration and Trade Department at the African Development Bank.

The continent’s exports in textiles and garments industry account for a paltry one percent of the $350 billion worth of the market, and there is still room to increase the exports, according to Mupotola.

Global textile giants like Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore will pose a big challenge to Africa if the US ratifies the Trans-Pacific trade deal, slashing tariffs to boost trade with the three Asian nations alongside Japan, Brunei, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Australia and New Zealand.

The deal was signed in February and it offers free entry of textile products into the U.S., a move likely to threaten Africa’s economic gains from its clothing exports there.

“African nations should strengthen their skills base and build competitive textiles and garment industries, and seize markets in other economies apart from the US,” Mupotola added.

 

Related News

Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo has charged garment manufacturers to take full advantage of the recently launched AGOA Visa Stamp in Lagos. According to him, the exporters in the sector must not allow the golden opportunity slip away from them. Represented by the Deputy Director, National Export Office, NEPC, Mr....

18 June, 2019
AGOA textile visa stamp will benefit Nigerians

AGOA textile visa stamp will benefit Nigerians

Recently, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) AGOA Trade Resource Centre, Lagos, unveiled the AGOA Textile Visa Stamp. The Textile Visa Stamp, according to the NEPC, would enable garment manufacturers in Nigeria to have tariff concession on textile and garments manufactured in the country for export to the United States under the  African Growth Opportunity...

21 May, 2019
Kenyan textiles maker seeking to expand through AGOA

Kenyan textiles maker seeking to expand through AGOA

Textiles maker Rivatex East Africa Ltd is eyeing regional and international markets with its planned Sh6 billion upgrade. The modernisation drive will increase cotton consumption from 10,000 bales per day against a projected capacity of 100,000, translating to a daily production rate of 40,000 metres, up from the previous 5,000. Managing Director Thomas Kipkurgat said the...

14 April, 2019
Botswana: Textile sector upbeat, despite AGOA export collapse

Botswana: Textile sector upbeat, despite AGOA export collapse

The country’s textile and apparel exports to the United States under AGOA, fell to just $3,000 (P32,100) in 2018, the first numbers showing the impact of the relocation to Lesotho of the last exporting firm. Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s duty and quota free provision, Botswana textile firms were shipping off P1.8 billion in stock to the US at the peak...

22 March, 2019
Building Africa’s manufacturing strength in the textile and clothing sector

Building Africa’s manufacturing strength in the textile and clothing sector

The rise of the fast fashion industry in the past few years has brought in its wake a booming trade of second-hand clothing. Today, millions of people around the world donate clothes with the understanding that they will support the needy or will be resold in secondhand stores. But are increased imports into Africa of second-hand clothing from developed countries...

31 January, 2019
Tanzanian home textiles firms gain insights on US market

Tanzanian home textiles firms gain insights on US market

Tanzanian textile companies received a boost to their efforts to export products to the U.S. after attending a half-day workshop hosted by the USAID Hub. Fifteen Tanzanian design enterprises learned about U.S. market opportunities on January 15 in Dar es Salaam from Margaret Bishop, an expert in textile and apparel production and quality management. Ms. Bishop provided the...

24 January, 2019