Mahwera, Danford Anselm (2019) A STUDY ON STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETITIVE TEXTILE SECTOR IN TANZANIA. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Tanzania is one among the largest producer countries of cotton lint in Africa and also among the giant producer of organic cotton in the World. With this abundant supply of cotton lint, availability of cheap manpower and duty free access to key markets make Tanzania an attractive textile and apparel investment destination, several structural challenges have prevented the country from leveraging these advantages. The challenges need to be addressed, coupled with strong political will and aggressive marketing efforts in order to attract and retain investments in the sector.

It is estimated that around 70% to 80% of the cotton lint output from Tanzanian ginneries is exported to Asian countries and only roughly less than 30% left to be consumed in the local industry. Countries like Tanzania loses a huge amount of revenue and employment that could have been created when activities related to the value-addition of cotton to produce final Textile and Apparel products could have been done locally.

This study aimed on exploring the above said challenges by focusing on the examination of the Tanzanian textile industry with the inclusion of Tanzanian consumer preferences in order to establish their impact on potential cotton value-added product strategies for the Tanzanian textile sector. The study used both quantitative approach (Hard Systems Methodology) in the consumer survey part and qualitative approach (Soft Systems Methodology) for the entire Textile and Apparel industry to find solution to the problem situation in hand. However, qualitative part specifically Soft System Methodology was used as an overall framework for the entire study. This was accomplished through various techniques such semi structured interviews with the owners/managers of Textile and Apparel firms and government policy makers, Focus Group discussions with the workers of the same firms and specially designed Soft Systems Methodology Workshop with the representative of the entire stakeholders within the Tanzania Textile and Apparel industry.

The study revealed that the Tanzania local industry is hampered by the unavailability of adequate local substitutes, lack of knowledge to consumer needs and poor strategies on attracting Foreign and Direct Investments. Others are existence of outdated technology in the industry, customs problems, poor infrastructure, unskilled labour, lack of access to finance, raw material availability, provision of poor wages and working conditions and finally, challenges on preserving the environment during Textile and Apparel production. The study recommended a number of specific actions to be taken by the government and Textile and Apparel firms. These actions include: Improve all issues related to infrastructures, improve transparency of the various investment incentives and any necessary commitment on implementing them, help the investors and SME in access to affordable finance, and ensure efficiency of the port procedures. The Textile and Apparel firms should ensure that they conduct regular marketing research, update their managerial and technical profile in human resources and machinery, and provide proper wages and good working condition.

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