A Pragmatic Situational and Symbiotic Market Requirements Appraisal

Date01 August 2014
Published date01 August 2014
Subject MatterCommentary
A Pragmatic Situational
and Symbiotic Market
Requirements Appraisal:
An Insight into Textile and
Apparel Trade in Africa
Ndwiga Duncan Kariuki
Xiong-Ying Wu
Li-Hong Chen
Xue-Mei Ding
African textile and clothing industry though has been in a state of instability, have
undergone great transformation to fit in the international trade through imple-
menting the World Trade Organization requirements of a liberalized market and
promoting bilateral trade. However, little is known about the current market
situation and regulation requirements being implemented. This article provides a
comprehensive appraisal to enable understand the African business environment
in ways useful in developing this sector, and guiding textile and clothing compa-
nies wishing to invest and trade in Africa. It focuses on the structure and char-
acteristics of African four most active Regional Economic Communities (REC)
pillars, consisting 42 of the 48 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. Through a
situational comparative and symbiotic trade analysis of these integrated regional
economic markets, this study assesses the current policies towards promoting
internal and external trade. The analysis reveals that the integration of regional
economic trading blocs has led to the development of more competitive and
sustainable markets, and mitigating effects of trade liberalization.
JEL: P51
Foreign Trade Review
49(3) 291–308
©2014 Indian Institute of
Foreign Trade
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/0015732514539209
Ndwiga Duncan Kariuki, Fashion Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai, China.
E-mail: Kariukidun06@yahoo.com
Xiong-Ying Wu, Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shanghai,
China. E-mail: wuxy@shciq.gov.cn
Li-Hong Chen, Fashion Institute, Donghua University, Shanghai, China. E-mail: lhkxyy@
Xue-Mei Ding (Corresponding Author), Professor at Fashion Institute, Donghua
University, Shanghai, China. E-mail: fddingxm@dhu.edu.cn
Foreign Trade Review, 49, 3 (2014): 291–308
292 Ndwiga Duncan Kariuki, Xiong-Ying Wu, Li-Hong Chen, and Xue-Mei Ding
Market structure and characteristics, Africa textile and apparel industries,
symbiotic, trade requirements, trading blocs, Sub-Saharan Africa countries (SSA)
The liberalization of the world market has necessitated African countries to reor-
ganize their trading protocols so as to fit in the global market. This is because the
expiry of Agreement on Textile and Clothing in 2005 led to the end of quotas that
were used to define global apparel trade. This has come with the adjustment of
structures for market requirements, which besides the reduction of tariffs, also
includes the elimination of non-tariff barriers, creation of custom unions, monitory
unions, common markets and standards harmonization. These are meant to facilitate
African countries to competitively participate in domestic and global trade.
The textile and clothing industry in Africa, more so in the Sub-Saharan Africa
(SSA), are focused on cotton products such as yarns, knitted and woven fabric,
and made-up items such as towels and other home linens (Bennett et al., 2011), as
well as different items of clothing and apparels, and, therefore, consumes cotton
from local or regional growers. This sector is governed under different protocols
depending on the market region within which it falls.
Researchers have pointed out that the African textile and clothing industry is
under threat due to massive imports of new and used textiles and clothing (Baden
and Barber, 2005). This has resulted in African countries putting up new measures
which are meant to protect and revitalize the domestic industries, and diversifying
their exports by improving access to domestic and international markets. As per
reviews on evolving market environments analyzing opportunities and threats notes,
Africa may soon become the next favourite frontier market (Nwankwo, 2000).
This article aims to research on the protocols of trade and policies currently
being implemented among the integrated markets in SSA of East African
Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC),
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The study is done by evaluating
and comparing their market structure and characteristics as well as mutual rela-
tionships on trade preferential treatments among member countries and between
trading blocs.
Development of the African Textile Industry
Initially, many African countries concentrated on import substitution and subsi-
dized consumption where import substitution was based on incentives for invest-
ment and domestic production. Although this created demand for the importation

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