Tanzania trains tailors as second hand clothing ban looms

Tanzania trains youth on tailoring as ban on used clothes nears

Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda could all ban second-hand clothes and leather. These countries and most of the African countries have seen an influx of second hand clothing coming from western countries like the U.S and the United Kingdom.  These second hand clothing – a staple of many residents’ wardrobes, will be banned in order to bolster domestic garment making.

 Increasing the cost of clothing will hit east Africa’s low-income consumers, but the shock effect could be reduced if a ban was imposed gradually. Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian

Increasing the cost of clothing will hit east Africa’s low-income consumers, but the shock effect could be reduced if a ban was imposed gradually. Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian

Now Tanzania has started a programme to train tailors in anticipation of plans to implement a regional ban on the importation of second-hand clothes and footwear by 2019.

According to the East African, Jenista Mhagama, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said the training programmes will equip young Tanzanians with tailoring skills. The skilled youths will be employed in clothes and footwear manufacturing factories, which are going to be opened, in line with the government’s industrialisation plan, Mhagama said.

The import ban is expected to boost Tanzania’s manufacturing industry, create employment, and help grow the economy. With the training, Tanzania becomes one of the first countries in the region to start preparing for the implementation of the ban.

Tanzania has started training tailors as part of the country’s preparation to implement regional ban on importation of second-hand clothes and shoes by 2019.

Tanzania has started training tailors as part of the country’s preparation to implement regional ban on importation of second-hand clothes and shoes by 2019.

While the ban has its merits, there are concerns that a blanket ban will hurt the poor. Amidst the growing unemployment and poverty, the importation of second hand clothes provides a lifeline to the unemployed (informal traders), while the cheap clothes, often of high quality are irresistible for customers.

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