The President of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina opened this year’s Origin Africa Trade Show in Antananarivo. The annual event brought together 140 exhibitors from across Africa to showcase their apparel value chain wares and services to an international audience of buyers, designers, and representatives from trade and investment agencies. The Hub supported five organizations to set up booths, including East African textile and apparel investment promotion agencies, and two Indian Ocean apparel and accessory companies that are ready to expand.
One of the Hub-supported companies is Madagascar Clothing Manufactures (MCL). It started in February 2016 to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s (AGOA) renewal and Madagascar’s return to eligibility. The Hub is linking MCL to U.S. buyers. In addition to this Origin Africa show, the Hub also supported MCL to attend the July Magic trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Company owner Eugene Havemann was encouraged by the buyers he met. “I need to get a few more certifications and then I’ll be ready,” said Mr. Havemann. “If I can get just a few U.S. buyers, I’m set. The volumes are so large.”
Madagascar desperately needs the jobs that these factories create. It is among the poorest countries in the world. In 2012, the World Bank estimated that 90 percent of Madagascar’s 22 million population lived in absolute poverty, with a budget of approximately $2 to spend per day.
Watch our Madagascar livelihood video to see the impact that AGOA job creation can have on the lives of one Malagasy family.