Can African clothing companies learn to compete?
It is a well-known fact that globalization is taking hold in the textile and clothing industries. What is perhaps less well understood is how different industries in different countries are responding. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, with its duty-free quota-free access to the US, presents commercial challenges that few industries are ready to meet. So can African countries actually benefit from its opportunities? asks B. Lynn Salinger. On 1 October 2000, the United States Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) came into law. Its passage followed several years of lobbying from the Clinton White House on behalf of increased US trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa. Opposition came from a number of forces, including the domestic textile and clothing industry. The question is, now that the bill has become law, can African countries actually benefit from its opportunities? What does AGOA really offer? Advocates of the bill argue that labor-intensive manufacturing for export