Apparel Sourcing Opportunities in Madagascar and Mauritius

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the following discussion questions:

  1. Why does the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) promote apparel sourcing from Africa?
  2. From the video, how do you see the social and economic impact of the textile and apparel industry on Madagascar and Mauritius?
  3. Do we need African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)? Why or why not?
  4. With regard to the status of the textile and apparel industry in Madagascar and Mauritius, anything shown in the video interests or surprises you?

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

9 thoughts on “Apparel Sourcing Opportunities in Madagascar and Mauritius”

  1. I think AGOA is necessary. AGOA is a driving force for globalization. By removing duties trade barriers are eliminated, allowing the US to work with Madagascar and Mauritius in apparel production. Having said that, this act becomes less about the US being able to expand production, although that is a positive for consumers. It is more about the opportunities that are now available for Madagascar, Mauritius, and hopefully other African countries in the future. As stated in the video since the passing of AGOA Mauritius has been able to become the 2nd wealthiest country in Africa, showing the positive effect it’s had. The act means more jobs. It also means more consistency for citizens; one woman has been able to work for the factory since it’s opening. The work is easy to learn too, meaning more people can hold positions at the factories. All these things have a positive impact on the local African economy. The positivity that has come from the act and the factories could also lead to the establishment of more factories in not only Madagascar and Mauritius, but also other African countries. With companies like Puma already using these African factories for production there is a good chance other big name brands will start looking to do the same. Also, by extending the duty-free access for another 10 years these African countries are showing their willingness to establish long relationships with US manufacturers. Overall, I think we need AGOA so that more opportunities can be provided for developing countries.

    Having said all that, AGOA could have a downfall. With the US companies always looking for the newest form of cheaper labor this could lead to the exploitation of African workers.

    1. very well said! I hope students can recognize the unique impact of the apparel industry from this video as well as the meaning of our class. We are far more than just technically talking about sourcing apparel, instead, we are also exploring the way to reduce poverty, generate economic growth and promote human development in the world. So is it with AGOA, which is both a trade policy and a development tool. Later on in the course we will further discuss the specific “design” of AGOA and analyze its effectiveness.

  2. I agree with mem6, I believe that the world definitely needs AGOA, as it had created so many opportunities in the last 15 years for countries in Africa that would not have been able to prosper without it. I was so impressed/amused to see workers in the factories in Mauritius and Madagascar working so efficiently on roller skates! I was honestly a little bit surprised to see how modern the factories were and that Mauritius specifically was a big player in textile production. I always had the impression that these developing countries were mainly producing labor-intensive apparel. I have not heard a whole lot about the T&A industry in Africa having a huge impact on United States T&A trade, so I am wondering if the African countries are just producing textiles and apparel on a largely regional scale. I can see that many US ambassadors and African are trying to encourage more investment in these African countries. I am excited to see the impact that AGOA has in the next few years!

  3. AGOA has changed countries in Africa and has included them in globalization. They brought the textile and apparel industry to Africa and as a result, have created great opportunities. Countries like Mauritius and Madagascar have been able to take these opportunities and have grown significantly. More jobs have been created for locals and more textile is being created for westerners. Companies like Puma have taken on this trend. I think through the success of Mauritius and Madagascar, more and more African countries will get involved with the textile and apparel industry.

    I had no idea there were countries in Africa getting involved with the textile industry so this was a great video to watch!

  4. From the video, I can see how AGOA has become a significant aspect to the growth of both Madagascar and Mauritius. AGOA has been able to improve the economic status of Mauritius by developing manufacturing plants and providing jobs to those who are willing to work. The video stated that Mauritius was once the poorest nations in Africa and since gaining their independence in 1968, they have become the second wealthiest nation in Africa. This is a very shocking statistic! It shows how important AGOA is to these countries and how it can benefit both parties (including the U.S.). The video also explained that companies such as, World Knits, have found that Madagascar is a good option for manufacturing expansion. The one point that I found the most interesting is that the citizens of Madagascar are known for their handiwork. Because of this skill set, employers find it easy to to train new employees within this country because they pick up on new skills for production very quickly. This is a huge advantage for Madagascar because more companies will view this as extremely beneficial. They will not have to spend extra time and money to train their employees. The extension of AGOA within Madagascar will definitely be highly beneficial to their entire economy. Overall, I believe AGOA is an amazing policy that has truly benefited these countries and will continue to aid their growth for the future.

    1. I completely agree with sarahking55! The AGOA agreement would make improvements upon the economic standing of Madagascar and Mauritius in ways that would otherwise never be thought possible. This agreement has brought the apparel and textile industry directly to Africa, and as a result have created opportunities and jump started the generation of profit as well as employment in these areas. It is so exciting to see the movement of the apparel industry to the African market, and I have no doubt that the success brought to Africa by AGOA thus far will only continue in the future. It is great to see and hear about the industry in areas such as this that are much lesser known, as opposed to in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc.

  5. It is clear from the video that AGUA is essential to the growth and stability of Madagascar and Mauritius. The core of their economy relies on agreements like this to help them compete on a global scale and lift themselves out of poverty. By developing manufacturing plants and creating job opportunities in poor countries like this we are not only benefiting from low labor costs but we are providing an opportunity to improve the world economy. We should encourage more agreements like this with less developed countries to broaden opportunity and even the playing field in the T&A industry. The more efficiently countries can work together, the more efficient domestic economies and the world economy will be.

  6. I think that mauritious was the poorest nation in a ll of Africa and now it is the second wealthiest with a stable democracy is outstanding. The AGOA clearly is the most beneficial thing for Africa and Madagascar. The AGOA can take 21 million people out of unemployment out of the 22 million on the island now. Why was the AGOA suspended? It is also sad if people don’t take Madagascar business seriously and I think everyone should look into investing there!

  7. The T&A industry is quite obviously core to both Madagascar and Mauritius’s social and economic sectors. There are 21 billion citizens that are unemployed and are eager to learn the trade and work hard to build themselves out of poverty. All of this opportunity and awareness, I believe, is all thanks to AGOA. Of course we, the United States, and these countries need this act because it has created a new supply of workers for the ever demanding T&A work force. I feel that without the act there wouldn’t have been as much awareness of the potential nor the ability to see manufacturing in these countries as something that is actually plausible. I find it incredibly fascinating how many people are advertising for these two countries to come and set up a manufacturing deal. With the right education, these advocates seem passionate and fully convinced that both the countries and the invested businesses will thrive. The potential is exciting to see and the possibilities seem extremely attainable. I am hopeful that these countries will be taken into serious consideration in the future for many developed and developing apparel brands.

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