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Source Africa to Highlight Region’s Sourcing Potential

Africa wants everyone to know what it’s got going on.

And this year at Source Africa, a leading Pan-African textile and apparel trade show, more than 1,500 manufacturers, buyers, suppliers and service providers will gather to promote manufacturing and discuss the region’s potential.

The Cape Town, South Africa-based event will take place June 8-9 and feature more than 180 exhibitors, with representation from countries including South Africa, Mauritius, Lesotho, Kenya, Egypt, Madagascar, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe—many of the countries oft talked about as the most primed for apparel production.

Mauritius, which has been steadily working to rebuild its once-thriving textile industry, will take a delegation of 39 companies to the show this year, chiefly with the aim of reminding Africa—and the world—what it’s capable of (namely high quality knitwear). The Cape Town-bound companies will also showcase their production of T-shirts, polo shirts, jeans, high-end suits and accessories.

“With decades of experience and renewed investments in high end design skills and manufacturing technology, Mauritian textile and fashion producers now supply leading fashion brands, primarily in the Eurozone and USA, namely Calvin Klein, Adidas, Woolworths, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, Harrods, River Island and Levi’s,” Arvind Radhakrishna, CEO of Enterprise Mauritius, which will lead the delegation.

African manufacturers in eligible countries are poised to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) a trade preference program, renewed last year with the United States that grants countries meeting certain requirements duty free access to the U.S. market for their apparel exports. The savings for some can be upward of 35 percent in duties.

“Africa will play an increasingly important role in the textile, apparel and footwear industry over the next decade,” a Source Africa statement noted. “International buyers are showing stronger interest, fuelled in part by AGOA, and the African industry is showing an increased ability to meet that demand with world class capabilities that are getting better every day.”