Article written by Bambina Wise, published in Women’s Wear Daily on November 28th 2016
Now on its seventh year, the event, which takes place in a different African country every year, aims to position Africa as a viable sourcing alternative to China, Vietnam and India.
Origin Africa, a longstanding trade platform for the textile, apparel and footwear industry in Africa, held its annual event earlier this month in Antananarivo, Madagascar, that followed its theme, “Changing Perceptions, Building Synergies, Doing Business.” Now on its seventh year, the event, which takes place in a different African country every year, aims to position Africa as a viable sourcing alternative to China, Vietnam and India.
A regular visitor to Origin Africa, Matthijs Crietee, secretarygeneral of the International Apparel Federation, said, “If one would have asked people in 1975 if they thought within 30 years China would be the dominant exporter of apparel, people would have been skeptical, yet it happened. It may not happen as quickly as it did in China and in Vietnam, but I am convinced the apparel industry will grow significantly in Africa.” He emphasized that “we are talking about an alternative, though, certainly not about a replacement. In that sense, saying that Africa will be the next China is not right. There will not be a next China, but the share of the African apparel industry of total apparel exports will grow.”
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