Apparel sourcing in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ruth Dede Adikorley (Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Kristin Thoney-Barletta (Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Jeff Joines (Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Lori Rothenberg (Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel

ISSN: 1560-6074

Publication date: 11 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine why Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is not currently a major player in producing apparel for the US market and determine if SSA is likely to become one because of several opportunities that the region offers, including relatively low labor wages, an ample labor force and duty-free access to the USA through the 10-year renewal of AGOA.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were conducted with eight high-level executives in apparel sourcing and trade agencies to obtain their views on the opportunities and challenges of sourcing in SSA in relation to other major apparel sourcing regions. A descriptive analysis of the qualitative data was used to answer three research questions.

Findings

The findings reveal that SSA is a competitive region to source from, because of low labor wages and the duty-free benefits through AGOA. However, several challenges hinder a significant increase in sourcing from SSA. The executives recommended that for SSA to be a significant force in the global apparel market, vertical supply chains should be developed, where raw materials like fabric are sourced from within the country/region and SSA governments should become more involved in business environment improvements.

Originality/value

At present, there is limited academic literature on sourcing and supplier selection in Africa, particularly in textile and apparel sourcing in SSA. Based on interviews from high-level executives engaged in the sourcing decision-making process, this study reveals the benefits, challenges and opportunities for sourcing apparel from SSA countries.

Keywords

Citation

Adikorley, R., Thoney-Barletta, K., Joines, J. and Rothenberg, L. (2017), "Apparel sourcing in Sub-Saharan Africa", Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 203-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/RJTA-05-2017-0022

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.