Textile and Apparel is Msingi’s second focus industry for East Africa. Following a deep sector scoping exercise, Msingi chose this sector, because of its potential to create a large quantity of jobs, increase export earnings, and enable a technological transfer from more developed markets through foreign direct investment.
The textile and apparel sectors are credited for the industrialization of almost all countries. From western Europe to Asia, the sector has driven much of the technological advancement and social change that has seen economies going from low income to high (and middle) income. The sector is also a priority sector in the national development plans of the EAC countries, and as a regional block.
Most EAC countries see this sector as a route to add value to cotton and reduce reliance on second hand clothing, but through analysis of global trends in the industry, Msingi EA sees an opportunity to address these pain points while positioning the EAC to capture a share of the lucrative global market.
Whilst the industry is experiencing disruption thanks to technological advancement, there are still areas where countries such as the EAC block, can find their comparative advantage and leverage the sector to industrialize and create jobs for the millions of youth that enter the job market annually.
Recent changes in global consumption trends, especially with millennials, are shifting the way certain goods are produced. Customization, shorter style runs and demand for more variety, are seeing some near shoring and onshoring within the value chain, but industry analysts estimate that these factors will affect 10% of the production base.
The whole industry though, is being affected by rising concerns of its impact on the environment. Traceability, sustainability and good production practices are increasingly being demanded by consumers, meaning the industry is cleaning up.