Government says Kenya will NOT ban second-hand clothes imports

Traders in second-hand clothes business have reason to keep smiling after Industrialisation cabinet secretary Adan Mohamed said Kenya will not impose a ban on second-hand clothes.

“…it is our desire to develop and promote our textile industry in our country to create more jobs for people in our country (sic). And through the transition of market forces we would like mitumba clothes to compete with clothes that are produced within East Africa, within Kenya, and if those products are much more competitive and much more consumer friendly, then of course you will see a reduction in the mitumba business in our country. But it is not going to be through a ban or anything of that nature,” said Mohamed at a press conference on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China.

READ ALSO: Uhuru Kenyatta says intra-Africa trade tops Kenya’s Foreign Policy objectives

Mohamed further said that by retaining the flow of second-hand clothes (mitumba), into the country, it will allow both importers and local producers to remain in business.

In the last two years, East African Community member states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi have been mulling over a joint restriction on second-hand clothes and shoes in a move meant to protect local textile manufacturers but which could harm a multi-billion shilling group of importers.

This announcement came as some US lobbyists were pushing for Kenya to be suspended from the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) group of countries for supposedly violating the principles of trade between the US and Kenya.

Photo: The Citizen

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