Uganda Bans Imports of Second-Hand Clothing

by Editor

Uganda has joined the growing list of African countries that have banned the importation of second-hand clothing after its president said it stifles the development of local textile industries and also claims the clothes belonged to dead Westerners.

According to Oxfam, a British charity, at least 70% of garments donated to charity in Europe and the United States end up in Africa.

There have been several conversations on the import of second-hand clothing to African countries. While many find it beneficial in terms of creating employment and a way to boost the economy, others also see it as an environmental hazard and a hindrance to the African fashion industry.

Following this never-ending debate on and off social media, some African countries like Rwanda have taken a more proactive and bold approach by banning the import of second-hand clothing to boost their textile industry.

And now Uganda has taken that same bold step to ban the import of second-hand clothing. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni stated that it stifles the development of local textile industries and that the clothes belonged to dead Westerners.

Like most African countries, Uganda has traditionally imported large quantities of used clothing, which some shoppers prefer because of its affordability.

Source: Reuters

But local manufacturers complain the dumping of second-hand clothing swamps the market, undermining Uganda’s ability to climb the value chain of the cotton and textile industry.

“We have people here who produce new clothes but they cannot infiltrate the market,” Museveni said at a groundbreaking ceremony of nine factories in the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park in Mbale city.

Uganda is a significant producer of cotton but much of it is exported in semi-processed form, with the value of its cotton exports ranging between $26-76 million per year in the decade to 2022, according to Uganda’s central bank.

The question now remains, which other African countries are next in line and what will the implications on the fashion industry be?

By: Thelma Anowaa.

A Fashion and Lifestyle Writer from Ghana, West Africa. Always had a dream of becoming a Public Relations practitioner but somehow her hobby turned into an exciting journey filled with experiences in creative writing, content managing, and copywriting.

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