In June 2018 a select group of Tanzanian-based Textile and Apparel manufacturers showcased their wares to industry leaders, buyers and sourcing managers at the Source Africa trade show in Capetown. 

The participating companies (Tanzania Tooku Garment, A to Z Textile Mills Ltd and 21st Century) all attended with a view to raising their brand profile and developing new business. The TDU travelled to support the participating companies and raise the awareness of Tanzania as a prime East African investment destination for Textile and Apparel Manufacturers. 

According to event organisers, Messe Frankfurt, a renewed focus on promotion and a more engaging format has revitalised the event and resulted in large increases in the number of exhibitors and attendees. They reported an increase of over 45% in the number of visitors attending the event and an 80% increase in total attendees (this includes exhibition staff). The event attracted high quality, senior people with 23.1% were business leaders (MD / CEOS), 10.7% buyers, and 5.6% sourcing managers. Read the official post-event report by clicking here (note: email registration required). 

The main aim of this show is to promote African-made textiles, apparel and footwear as well as encourage stakeholders’ interaction at regional and international levels. As such it offers a perfect platform for Tanzanian clothing manufacturers to extend their network and add to their customer base.  

3 important insights that we took away from Source Africa 2018.

  • Traceability is now the standard
    Supply chain transparency and traceability is very much a concern for brands – who are seeking a complete history of garments from their primary stage. This means that those manufacturers who strictly comply with globally applicable standards across the value chain are advantageously positioned to attract new customers including high profile multinational brands.
  • Demonstrating diversity is important
    Most of the exhibitors who participated in the trade fair had a diversified range of products, it was very attractive to be able to showcase a broad choice of finished garment types, made with differing manufacturing techniques and raw materials.
  • Sharing ideas helps drive innovation
    Exhibitions which bring together suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and buyers constitute a valuable forum for sharing knowledge, experience, technical innovation and other technological development – and provides great insight to changing customer and market needs.

So, in summary, we took part in the show to promote the textile and apparel sector in Tanzania as well as to support domestic businesses that have shown growing interest in diversifying their products base and develop their export focus. From the TDU’s perspective, the visit was productive as we were able to meet a great number of potential investors and retailers and brands that showed interest in investing and sourcing from Tanzania.