The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) West Africa Trade and Investment Hub today convened representatives from large apparel companies to hear about opportunities to strengthen economic growth in Ghana and empower women and women-owned businesses.
Three USAID co-investment partners working in the apparel industry shared their experiences working with the Hub.
“Today’s event highlights the major shift underway in the structure of the global apparel industry. Buyers are actively diversifying their supply chains and seeking more competitive price points,” said Janean Davis, Acting Mission Director for USAID/Ghana.
“This presents a tremendous opportunity for economic growth in Ghana, and for Ghanaian women who have proven to be integral to the success of apparel companies DTRT, Global Mamas and Ethical Apparel. USAID is proud to support them.”
USAID representative addresses event attendees
The event, titled “Empowering Women in Ghana’s Apparel Sector: Challenges & Success Strategies,” featured first-hand accounts of the emerging opportunities for Ghana as a major sourcing hub for global apparel manufacturing. Representatives from the three USAID co-investment partners—DTRT Apparel, Ethical Apparel Africa, and Global Mamas—explained how women’s equity and empowerment are key business objectives for their companies and pay off in business production and growth.
DTRT Apparel, for example, seeks to become a leading sports-lifestyle apparel manufacturing company while promoting higher sustainability and social compliance standards than the industry norm. Global Mamas has expanded from six female handmade clothing producers to nearly 400 today.
“Today’s event was an exciting opportunity for our company to showcase how DTRT, which creates quality apparel destined for the U.S. and European markets, is truly committed to ‘doing the right thing’ by its employees, of which the great majority are women,” said Wasantha Perera, Global Chief Operating Officer, DTRT Apparel.
“Even more importantly, we hope our presentation encourages more investments by apparel businesses in Ghana, and shows why prioritizing women’s equity and empowerment is so important to business success.”
Along with presentations by the three USAID Trade Hub co-investment partners, the event included a Q&A session offering advice on how companies in the apparel sector can better support women, and the role of the private sector in advancing gender equity and inclusion. A product showcase featuring apparel samples from each of the three companies was also featured.
Along with representatives from large and small apparel companies with operations in Ghana, others in attendance included USAID and U.S. Embassy staff, and leaders of major NGOs that currently support women’s livelihood projects.