Accra, Ghana – The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) West Africa Trade and Investment Hub 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.”

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.

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About USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.  USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana’s journey to self-reliance. Our work advances an integrated approach to development.  It promotes accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.

About the Trade Hub: The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a USAID-funded activity that catalyzes economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports from West Africa.

About DTRT Apparel: DTRT (Do The Right Thing) Apparel provides extremely cost-competitive services via a unique global supply chain platform spanning three continents. Its mission is to become a leading sports and sports-lifestyle apparel development and manufacturing company while instituting and promoting a higher sustainability standard that sets an example for how to respectfully treat workers and support communities.

About Ethical Apparel Africa: EAA is an apparel manufacturing and sourcing company that provides expert technical guidance, independent quality control, logistics, and compliance assurance in West Africa with an operating model that is rooted in a deep commitment to improving workers’ lives.

About Global Mamas: The Global Mamas are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters, talented entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities producing fair trade apparel, jewelry and skin care products of the highest quality.

Mission Director Janean Davies speaking at a podium