As sourcing in Africa ramps up in line with further developments in the supply chain there, investors from around the world are looking to spend their money for apparel production on the continent.
Dubai-based United Aryan, which currently manufactures apparel for export in Ruaraka, Kenya, is one such investor. The company announced plans to construct a $113.8 million factory at the Olkaria geothermal fields in Naivasha, Kenya, which could employ up to 10,000 locals directly and 40,000 others indirectly, Business Daily Africa reported.
“We have identified an ideal place at Olkaria geothermal fields in Naivasha where we intend to establish a 11.5 billion shilling ($113.8 million) factory for the production of quality garments,” Pankaj Bedi, United Aryan’s founder and chairman, said in an interview with Business Daily Africa. “We expect to start construction in the next two years and thereafter start operations as soon as the factory will be complete.”
According to United Aryan, the factory will produce many types of garments, including fleece, knit tops, pajamas, robes, shirts and trousers. Inside the factory, 84 lines will have the capacity to produce and wash more than 100,000 units a day, and Bedi told Business Daily Africa that the factory will manufacture products to be sold in Kenya and other global markets, including Europe and the U.S.
United Aryan’s textiles facility project comes on the heels of Kenya’s trade expansion goals. In December, the Center of International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) inked a partnership that would aid 2,000 Kenyan companies with international business opportunities. The agreement between the CIPE and KNCCI focuses on the chambers of commerce in Kenya’s Vihiga, Mombasa and Nairobi counties, which will receive market linkages and assistance to improve trade between the U.S. and Kenya.
For the year through January, The U.S. imported $342.25 million worth of apparel from Kenya, a 2.5% increase from a year earlier.
Other East African nations, including Ethiopia, have already garnered interest from major clothing companies like H&M and PVH Corp., and as the country continues to further its efforts to create a supply chain ecosystem where all key supplier types are present, more companies are paying closer attention.