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Comparative country study of the development of textile and garment sectors: lessons for Tanzania

Research reports

Written by Linda Calabrese

Hero image description: Colourful cotton spools in a factory Image credit:Sala Lewis for the Textiles Development Unit. Image license:Sala Lewis for the Textiles Development Unit.
Colourful cotton spools in a factory
Image credit:Sala Lewis for the Textiles Development Unit. ~ Image license:Sala Lewis for the Textiles Development Unit.

This research aims to identify the main actors and factors necessary to develop the textile and garment sector in the United Republic of Tanzania. It draws on the varying experiences of six countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Lesotho and Madagascar – to pinpoint what is required to establish an integrated value chain, from cotton to clothing, and raise local ownership of textile and garment manufacturing.

Our report shows, through the varied experiences of the case study countries, that no single model can be isolated as a definitive route to success. Nevertheless, these models provide six key lessons for Tanzania.

The accompanying briefing note summarises the findings of a recent paper gathering empirical evidence on growth trajectories in the textile and apparel sector from the six case studies. We extract relevant lessons from different approaches for developing a vibrant, vertically integrated, textile and apparel sector with strong local capability and ownership. It aims to start the discussion on the key lessons and implications for Tanzania, to steer the next stages of research and investigation.

Neil Balchin and Linda Calabrese