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International benchmarking vision for the Textile and Clothing Cluster of the Accelerated Growth Strategy (SCA)

Senegalese authorities wanted to turn the restructured local textile industry into a cutting-edge sector through the complete liberalization of the textile market. The Ministry of Industry and UNIDO Office Dakar submitted a support project to SCA (YASEB05001) for funding. This project aimed primarily at the provision of technical assistance in the elaboration of a textile and clothing action plan.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, UNIDO conducted a diagnostic survey, entitled Diagnostic and Elements of the National Support Strategy for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Senegal in the International Context. The survey highlighted the sectors and sub sectors crucial to play an effective role in the global textile market.
Together with the cluster group and within the framework of the Support Project of the Accelerated Growth Strategy (PASCA), UNIDO mobilized experts of the consultancy company International Gherzy.

International Gherzy experts contributed to current national priorities:

  • Senegal’s eligibility to the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and the wish to benefit from the opportunities provided by the AGOA
  • Implementation of the Presidential Board of Investment in order to improve the trade structure and to attract foreign direct investments
  • Launch of the SCA formulation process (one of the priority clusters is the textile and clothing industry)

UNIDO’s technical assistance initiated the synthesis of work and recommendations of the recently conducted surveys in the textile and clothing sector.

Moreover, during the workshop for the Action Plan (21-22 February 2006, Savana Hotel), UNIDO’s technical assistance facilitated business exchanges between the actors of the sector. Thus, the cluster group elaborated and adopted the strategies and main priorities of the cluster, namely tailoring and handicraft businesses. The restructuring of the industrial upgrading and modernization process for a small number of textile companies was contained in the action plan of the cluster group textile and clothing (GGTH). It should support the main priorities of the cluster.

The work of the GGTH, presented on the 14 June 2006 to the governmental authorities, marked the end of the conception of the action plan. Thus, the textile and clothing industry was the first SCA cluster, which defined an action plan. A compendium of 13 priority actions were outlined and brought to the attention of the governmental authorities. The timely adoption of the main priorities gained the support of local actors. Further, the strong economic trend emerged new challenges for foreigner investors.
UNIDO is still convinced that Senegal can play a decisive role on textile export markets, in particular in the tailoring sector.  UNIDO’s vision builds on existing know-how, on the good reputation of the handicraft sector, on new opportunities offered by international cooperation and on the emergence of value-added product niches.
However, the concrete realization of the identified action plan priorities is still a vital challenge. UNIDO’s technical support will contribute to the challenging revival of the textile and tailoring sector. A sustainable textile and tailoring industry shall be achieved through the implementation of a function-oriented textile promotion center. Thus, the revived sector is supposed to be competitive and labor intensive in order to boost young employment.