The United States of America has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Ghana’s apparel manufacturing industry.
This follows a visit of a high-level U.S Congressional Delegation including its Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Ghana’s largest apparel manufacturer in West Africa, Dignity Do the Right Thing (DTRT) located in Adabraka, Accra.
Speaking to JoyBusiness at the visit to the DTRT Factory, the Managing Director of the manufacturing firm, Salma Salifu said her outfit with the support of the U.S. Embassy, is looking at increasing the export volumes to $28 million by end of 2020 and employment consideration of additional 2,500 youth.
“We are looking at also bringing in other buyers; we have only one buyer that buys from us now and for that reason the buyer has a certain number that we can even not give them so that tells you that the number is going to double, once it does it means that the number of workers will also increase to 5,000 by next year,” she said.
The DTRT apparel manufacturing facility is a beneficiary of U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) programming and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The facility was formed in 2014 as a joint venture between a local Ghanaian clothing manufacturer (Dignity) and U.S. investors (Do the Right Thing).
The company employs approximately 2,500 people, the majority of whom are women, who manufacture more than 10 million polos, T-shirts, and fleeces for sale in the U.S market. DTRT has driven the growth of garment manufacturing in Ghana and apparel exports through AGOA considerably over the last five years.
Exports have increased from less than $4 million in 2014 to approximately $14 million in 2018, and have risen by 50 per cent year-on-year from the first quarter of 2019.
A greater percentage of the workers at DTRT have little or no educational background, some of them comprise of persons living with a disability while the rest are street hawkers.
Madam Salifu said her outfit is doing more to complement government’s efforts in creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Also present at the event was the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan.
According to the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), the country’s trade under the programme registered a total of US$748million last year.
The surge in performance reflects the collective efforts by government and other stakeholders including the chamber in strengthening the country’s exports after reaching its peak in 2011 with exports earnings of US$779 million and subsequent decline in 2012 when it recorded US$292 million.
Ghana’s performance under AGOA has been sustained by its broadly diversified exports to the US in the areas of textiles and apparel, energy-related products, agricultural products, footwear, and minerals and metal