Africa can compete!: export opportunities and challenges in by Tyler Biggs

By Tyler Biggs

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More complex garments, such as suits or outerwear, are not yet made for export in any significant quantity in Africa and were excluded. In the case of textiles, only fabrics made of natural fibers available in Africa were considered because there is no infrastructure to produce synthetic cloth. As for handicrafts and home products, research in Europe and Africa identified those products currently exported which have the greatest potential for expansion. This information was critical, particularly in the handicrafts sector where official statistics miss a large segment of the trade.

A. The complete backlist of publications from the World Bank is shown in the annual Index of Publications, which contains an alphabetical title list (with full ordering information) and indexes of subjects, authors, and countries and regions. C. , or from Publications, The World Bank, 66, avenue d'Iéna, 75116 Paris, France. ISSN: 0259-210X Tyler Biggs is a senior economist in the Private Sector Development and Economics Division of the World Bank's Africa Technical Department. At the time this paper was written, Margaret Miller was a Young Professional in the division.

Clothing represents 18 percent of total manufactured exports from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. If we compare clothing exports alone to exports of the other product groups covered in this studyhandicrafts, textiles and home products then clothing represents 80 percent of the total trade. This figure is slightly misleading, however, since the island nation of Mauritius is responsible for 82 percent of this clothing amount. The sheer size and importance of the clothing sector thus provides an additional reason for its inclusion in this study.

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