Challenges facing the small-scale textiles and garments industry in Ghana

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The small scale textiles and garments sector has been faced with a number of challenges from the onset of the information and digital age and is now at a turning point that can either lead to a major revival or to a continuing decline. These challenges wither reality or perception, must be addressed if the sector is to play the significant role it used to play at the onset of the industrial revolution when it paved the road for countries seeking to enter the industrialized age. The small-scale textiles and garments sector in Ghana is mainly made up of batik/tie and dye makers, tailors and dressmakers, screen printers (including tee-shirt printers) the others (including the traditional kente weavers, adinkre printers fugu makers, etc). Employing quantitative (structured questionnaire) and qualitative (key informant interviews) methods, 60 small-scale textiles and garments enterprises in the Kumasi sub-metro were selected based on a stratified random sampling and interviewed. A perception interview was also done to 300 people from the general public to ascertain public perception about locally manufactured textiles and garments. Findings from this study indicates that the challenges the small-scale textiles and garments sector faces are as a result of not only internal capacity problems such as inadequate capital, lack of raw materials etc, but also external forces such as smuggling of manufactured textiles and garments from neighbouring Togo, Benin and Nigeria, advance technologies in textiles and garments manufacturing of industrialized countries such as China and India, challenges posed by AGOA, the National Friday wear, importation of second hand textiles and garments and many others. The study recommends that, there should be formation of alliances between the small textiles and garments enterprises to be able to access capital in other to engage in international marketing. There should be targeting and attracting a number of foreign garments and textiles manufacturing firms to relocate/locate their manufacturing plants in Ghana and produce for the export market. Capable individual entrepreneurs should be identified and supported to become merchant exporters of garments and textiles with a critical mass of small producers through subcontracting arrangements and export. There should be upgrading of technology and product quality, product innovation, cost reduction and competitive pricing for our textile and garment products. Policies like National Friday Wear, foreign textiles taxation, waver on imported textile raw materials and clamping down on textiles smuggling should be of great concern to the government.
A thesis submitted to the College of Arts and Social Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements of MBA, 2008