Kenyan firm opens $51.3 million textile factory in Zanzibar

2022-01-13 22:05:04
Kenyan firm opens $51.3 million textile factory in Zanzibar

Kenya’s firm Basra Textiles Ltd is setting up a $51.3 million factory in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar as it targets to get a pie of the regions clothes market.

It is hoped that the factory, which was launched by President Samia Suluhu Hassan this week, will give a new impetus to Tanzania’s textile industry, which has the potential to become a significant sourcing location for foreign buyers.

With the factory at Chunguni area in Zanzibar, Basra Textiles is targeting export markets across East and Central Africa, its company chief executive officer, Ahmed Othman, said on Tuesday.

The global textile industry was estimated at around $920 billion in 2018, and it was projected to reach approximately $1,230 billion by 2024, available global data show.

Tanzania is unfortunately importing most of its textile requirements mainly from China, India, Pakistan and Korea among others, official data show.

Othman said the factory will be implemented in three phases whereby upon its completion by 2024, it would provide direct employment to a total of 1,600 people.

“It will produce 250,000 metres of polyester per day, translating into seven million metres per month,” he said.

He said the first phase involves maintenance and repairing of buildings as well as installation of machinery while the second phase was to buy cotton and later produce fabric.

The third phase will involve the construction of a tailoring factory and the fixing of 500 tailoring machines.

It is at that phase that production of clothes will start and the number of jobs created by the factory will rise, Othman said.

Gracing the factory launch, President Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the factory will also help in the value addition of Tanzania’s cotton and ultimately benefit farmers.

She said it was her government’s expectation that in the near future, the country will stop importing such goods as children’s clothing and instead, up its own (Tanzania’s) processing capacity and grab the export market for East Africa and later the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

She said her government understands the importance of such large projects and that was why it was creating a conducive environment for investors to bring their capital to Tanzania.

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