China Dominates Nigeria’s Textiles Trade

Peace and Freedom

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Nigerians dye textiles in a dying pit in Kano.  Photograph: Myloupe/UIG via Getty Images

AFP

KANO, Nigeria — Nafiu Badaru, a junior civil servant in northern Nigeria’s biggest city Kano, doesn’t make much money and it takes some cash to look good so he tends to buy made-in-China fabric.

“A piece of high-quality brocade (cloth) costs around 10,000 naira ($50, 47 euros), which is way too expensive for me,” he told AFP.

“With the same amount of money I can buy six pieces of cheap Chinese brocade which cost only 1,500 naira a piece and still keep some change.”

The proliferation of Chinese-made textiles is a boon for consumers like Nafiu, with Kano and the wider north struggling with unemployment and economic constraints.

But traders in the city — a center of weaving and textile manufacturing dating back centuries — say such cheaper imports have been disastrous.

Traditional textile…

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