Rwanda Focused On Making Second-Hand Clothing A Thing Of The Past

By  |  May 13, 2019

In an attempt to boost its local textile industry, Rwanda has entered into a partnership deal with a Chinese garment manufacturer Pink Mango C&D to set up a modern garment factory in Kigali.

Reports indicate that the factory that will be set up in Kigali Special Economic Zone will produce garments for both the domestic and export markets.

By its fifth year, Pink Mango C&D is anticipated to provide 7,500 jobs to Rwandans and cumulative export earnings of USD 20 Mn over a five-year period.

Pink Mango C&D is also expected to build capacity and skills transfer to 500 workers of local garment cooperatives who will also benefit from some of their supply contracts through an outsourcing model.

Speaking after the signing, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Emmanuel Hategeka said, “The investment of Pink Mango C&D will upskill Rwandans giving them access to productive jobs and hence ensuring a better standard of living. Secondly, the investment will not only enable us to increase our exports but also reduce imports of clothing.”

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“We have been using fiscal measures to progressively discourage the importation of second-hand clothes because it was hurting the growth of the domestic textile and garment industry. Therefore, we are attaining a double objective by signing this deal,” Hategeka added.

Rwanda is currently focusing to make imports of second-hand clothing a thing of the past and plans to raise a total ban on imports of used clothing in 2019.

They are doing this in order to boost opportunities for homegrown businesses and “will restore pride and dignity to Rwandans used to sifting through piles of secondhand garments imported from Western countries.”

The Rwandan government remains unbowed in implementing import restrictions, despite the US government responding by blocking it from exporting domestically-made clothing to the US tax-free.

Initially, the East African Community regional bloc was united in its battle against importation of second-hand clothes but the alliance eventually fell off as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda bowed to US trade pressure and withdrew from the tariffs and ban proposed earlier.

Gordon Gu, the Director of Pink Mango C&D Garments said, “I am very appreciative of RDB’s investor facilitation and the vision to develop the country and we want to be a part of it. We are glad this business makes economic sense for the country and we will ensure that Rwandans work in good conditions.”

Ms Maryse Gallagher, business partner with Gordon Gu in Pink Mango C&D said, “This is an exciting day to see the conclusion of this investment deal in Rwanda and I thank the Government for the enabling environment and incentives that will make our products competitive in the global market.”

Featured Image Courtesy: Bright Magazine

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