*** Headline Photo: Robert Masumbuko, African Development Bank Benin Country Manager, explained that the workshop aimed to help Beninese small and medium textile enterprises enhance their structure ***
By Mireille BOKPE
The African Development Bank Group’s country office in Benin held a workshop on the challenges facing the country’s textile industry and how to build the capacity of stakeholders to develop value chains.
The workshop drew fabric producers, dyers, stylists, designers, embroiderers, seamstresses, consumers, support function professionals, and value chain professionals, representatives of textile associations and government representatives. The aim was to understand the needs and expectations of the textile manufacturing ecosystem and to incorporate local actors into value chains for mass-production of textiles.
“This workshop fits perfectly into the dynamics of structural reinforcement of the textile industry in Benin and the logic of consuming locally made products,” said Dario G. Ebo Sacramento, Deputy Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Industry and Trade during the workshop. “This is a sector which offers many opportunities at all stages of the value chain. The project for the industrialisation of small-scale clothing in Benin, proposed by the African Development Bank, is part of the innovation movement with high added value for the Beninese consumer, which the government is trying to promote within the Beninese industry,” he added.
The African Development Bank Group’s Benin country manager, Robert Masumbuko, said, “the workshop is a step towards helping Beninese small and medium-sized enterprises to structure themselves and pool their efforts to support the dynamics set up by the Beninese authorities in favour of the development of the textile industry, through local mass production.”
Private sector development is among the bank’s priority areas in Benin for the 2022 2026 period. The aim is to support the transformation of agriculture and industrial development in the country.
“It is in the interest of all stakeholders in the Beninese garment industry that the textile sector be governed by international norms and standards so that production is attractive and meets the needs of local consumers as well as the increasingly pressing demand which comes not only from outside the country but also from outside the continent,” said Nadia Adanlé, founder of Couleur Indigo, an indigo dyeing company which employs a majority of people with disabilities. Adanlé is also a member of Benin’s Chamber of Crafts
According to the government, the country’s textile industry has the potential to become one of the country’s major employers. The local market is expected to grow remarkably in the coming years.
In addition to collecting qualitative data from stakeholders on the needs of private and public operators, the workshop also provided an opportunity to propose an alternative to importation of lower quality clothing and textiles.
In addition to the mass production of textile products, the expectation is that the initiative should also lead to the implementation of a mutually beneficial production model that is accessible and financially profitable for local consumers while also satisfying demand for exports.