Africa still accounts for less than 1% of the global Textile and Apparel trade. The opportunity for expansion is great
Globally textiles and apparel generates more than $1.7 trillion annually and employs more than 300 million people. Thanks to preferential trade agreements, competitive manufacturing costs, improving infrastructure and locally available raw materials East Africa has become an increasingly attractive source destination for textiles and apparel.
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.
This industry has had a transformative effect on different economies
Its development has been influenced by a set of very specific factors
Not all developments have been positive though
Africa is the last continent where we have the opportunity to do this right
To achieve this, Msingi is combining global lessons, networks, and investments with local knowledge and context
Cross-cutting engagement with governments and private sector to develop buy-in and drive a joint vision:
Africa Development Bank, 2018
Are you excited to be a part of how economic development will happen in East Africa?
We invite others to partner with us to drive economic and social change through a systemic and coordinated approach to industrial development while protecting the region’s rich natural capital.
A new chapter for Msingi East Africa
After years of successfully working together as partners with a shared mission of transforming sectors in East Africa, Gatsby Africa, Kenya Markets Trust and Msingi have integrated to become one organisation. Combined, we have a long history operating in East Africa and have worked with governments, development partners and others in the pursuit of sector transformation.
The integrated organisation is a philanthropic entity of Lord David Sainsbury operating across a portfolio of six sectors in East Africa – Commercial Forestry, Aquaculture, Textiles and Apparel, Livestock, Agricultural Inputs and Water. Our consolidated portfolio puts us in a strong position to deliver meaningful levels of impact for millions of people in the region, and strengthens our ability to generate and share our learning with others.
What does this mean for the work that we have been passionately championing over the years? There will be no changes to the focus and modalities of how we work or our shared commitments – our existing programmes will continue to operate and drive transformation as they have always done.
However, we will retain our current Msingi website for a minimum period of six months, so that our knowledge materials are available to you. We shall be moving these over to our new website so that nothing will be lost.
As we launch the integrated Gatsby Africa, we are excited about the opportunities that this integration brings for our people, the sectors we work in and the communities we serve. Coming together allows us to leverage the strengths of the three organisations, unlocks a new world of opportunities for our staff, our sectors, and millions of East Africans.
We are excited about what the future holds and our collective contribution to the region we all believe in and are committed to.