After low relative earnings posted by its cotton and textiles sector, Msingi East Africa – a Nairobi-based industry transformation consultancy – has enlisted the services of Irish consultancy Bradan Consulting Services in order to help restructure the country’s cotton textile export strategy.
Concern around the sector’s welfare developed after it came to light that the benefits being reaped from the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) were significantly below potential. AGOA is a programme that allows the US access to a number of emerging markets across Africa since 2000.
The programme has produced highly desirable results in the rapidly developing region of East Africa, given its position as a highly lucrative area for investment. Political stability and economic growth have driven economic development in the region, and Uganda is amongst the major economies in this scenario.
Nevertheless, Uganda’s neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya have produced more favourbale benefits from AGOA than Uganda has managed. Ethiopia has garnered more than $220 million under the programme, while Kenya has garnered substantially more, at over $435 million.
Uganda’s earnings have been relatively lower at just over $55 million, prompting the government to enlist the services of a number of industry experts. Msingi East Africa has been involved in ensuring that the cotton sector increases in productivity through the textiles and apparel market.
The market is booming across the globe, although lack of an enabling policy environment and infrastructure have prevented the Ugandan economy from tapping into this potential. For instance, the exports from the country thus far have been comprised of handicrafts and interior decoration, which are traditionally of low volume.
In order to help shift this focus, Msingi East Africa has been restructuring priorities and strategies in the sector, and has now enlisted the services of Irish consultancy Bradan Consulting Services for help with the same. Senior executives at Bradan have already begun their process of evaluating the sector.