A new textile association was formed in Botswana aimed to enhance the industry’s growth and sustainability in the country, as well as utilize duty-free incentives promised under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) before it expires in 2015. The Botswana Clothing and Textile Association (BTCA), based in the capitol city of Gaborone, officially launched in August.
BTCA plans to help local companies with routine challenges including accessing funds from financial institutions, and will work toward improving the capacity of Botswana’s apparel industry. The association will direct most of its efforts to better equip companies to take advantage of AGOA, and assess those that are using the agreement.
According to the Botswana Daily News, currently only one company in Botswana, which employs about 1,000 workers, is taking advantage of AGOA. BTCA founding president Shahid Ghafoor told the newspaper that many of barriers prevent other companies from trading in the U.S. because the U.S. market is “very competitive and demanding.”
Ghafoor noted that the cost of logistics are also too high because Botswana is landlocked, making it difficult for companies to import raw materials and export finished product. He added, “There is a lack of capacity to supply; the quantity needed for export to the U.S. far surpasses the quantity in which local companies have the capacity to produce.”