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By: ACTIF / MoIED, 19 May 2016
The goal of Kenya’s Textile and Clothing ( T&C ) Value Chain Roadmap is to set the sector on the course of strategic development by addressing constraints in a comprehensive manner and defining concrete opportunities that can be realized through the specific steps detailed in its Plan of Action ( PoA ). Kenya’s current model has performed well, yielding strong economic and social returns. However, a progressive shift to a new strategic model is required to remain competitive. The industry must unite and evolve in order to leapfrog into higher growth and value addition. The sector’s strategic orientation should follow a twopronged approach. Firstly, Kenya has to build on its assembly and cut, make and trim ( CMT ) prowess. Secondly, the sector has to move up the global value chain, shifting from basic items to superior products in order to capture greater value and penetrate premium market segments.

The global T&C sector has been in a constant state of change since the turn of the century, characterized by a continual evolution in the location of both the most significant producing and exporting countries and regions as well as the main end markets. Demand surged in developing countries, production was consolidated in Asia, and new countries emerged as fast-growing exporters of T&C products.

Buyers are looking to shift more activities to their suppliers while at the same time demanding larger volumes and quicker turnaround times ; consumers are pressuring the industry to adhere to corporate social responsibility ( CSR ) standards ; information and communications technology ( ICT ) is becoming critical to modern production and inventory management ; and man-made fibres have become the sector’s preferred material.

Kenya’s T&C sector enjoyed strong growth over the past 10 years, spurred largely by the market access provided under the American Growth and Opportunity Act ( AGOA ). The sector’s advances were supported by a number of internal factors including internationally competitive wages, a supply of skilled workers in garment making, relatively high worker retention, significant water supplies, decreases in electricity costs, recent infrastructure investments, improved port efficiency and relative proximity to Europe. Kenya also benefited from growing concerns about CSR, which caused Western buyers to look for new suppliers outside low-cost Asia.


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