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Made In Africa: Protecting The African Textile Industry!

As Nigeria, Africa’s richest & most populous nation embarks on its 50th Anniversary of Independence on October 1st , Nigerians & the rest of Africa should stand up to their governments that have allowed foreign investment to rob them of their independence & right to their God given livlihoods. The Made in Africa label is suffering & almost non-existent because of an influx of cheap goods from China & other third world countries who are also struggling for their place & competitiveness in the world. Most Africans do not benefit from the oil, gold & other natural resources produced in Africa & sold to foreign nations in the global trade that only benefits the elite minority with money, influence & power.

The textiles business is one of the only businesses in the continent of Africa that still benefits the everyday African & it must be protected.  We need to make sure that preserving these jobs are on the top of the list of every election going forward in Africa by standing up to fight to protect what is ours in only voting for those who have our best interests at heart. Africans must show that we are sick & tired of charity and just want the opportunity to do for ourselves in the promise of democracy & free trade that respects, promotes, empowers & protects local businesses.

Ghanaian textile designer Philip Adu-Gyamfi wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about what he will design the next day.The African prints he and his team design for textile firm ATL are hugely popular. They are worn to church, funerals and weddings – every occasion, traditional or modern, that Ghanaians can find an excuse to wear them to. But Chinese copies of these designs are being smuggled into the West African country and sold at vastly-reduced rates. And this is forcing designers like Mr Adu-Gyamfi to work doubly hard to stay ahead…’It is not easy at all,” he says. “You get to a market and the design you have made has been copied, you feel like crying’…” Read More

If you go to any African nation you will see countless designers, sewers & tailors and even more consumers and people in need of the types of jobs that come from the textile & manufacturing industry. The tradition of textiles and manufacturing in Africa is a time honored tradition that does not take on any westernized concept of design schools etc.; this is a tradition past on from generation to generation, family to family, mother to daughter, father to son, madame & master to apprentice. The gift of looming, print making, sewing & creativity are innate to the everyday African, free from any limitation of finances for formalized western education.

From art exhibits in famed Trafalgar Square to the runways of  New York, Paris, London & Milan, African textiles have become the soup du jour, the fabric of choice, the often imitated but never authentically duplicated inspiration to a world of creativity that is hungary for global fusion & color! Textiles is Africa, Africa is Textiles & we must fight to protect our livelihood & tradition!

Ugandan manufacturers want their Government to put controls on the importation of all second-hand clothing (commonly known as mivumba). They argue that the imported clothing – much of it donated to leading charities in the US and Europe before finding its way to Africa – is hampering the growth of the local textile industry. Joyce Rwakasisi, the Textile Development Agency co-ordinator, says the sector cannot develop when mivumba take up 85 per cent of the market…” READ MORE

“We had a lot of expectation about how Nigeria would fare… unfortunately it has not worked out that way….”Professor Chinua Achebe speaks to BBC’s Bilkisu Labaran on the occasion of his country’s 50th anniversary of independence- READ MORE

Watch BBC Business:”Nigeria Looks to the Future” HERE
the next 50 years people will now understand that there is need to have a change to have democracy in partnership with productivity…people are now suffering so the only option now is to look for the government that will make people productive , government that will protect investment in the country, government that will make people produce something else, not oil only..”

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