The East African region has adopted a specific day of every week when everyone has to wear what is produced locally.
Trade ministers of the bloc meeting this September 19 at its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, declared Fridays as ‘Afrika Mashariki Fashion Day’.
The declaration, though not legally binding and without legal consequences, concerns people of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Kenyaz Burundi and South Sudan.
The ministers have designated Friday as day when all East Africans will wear attires manufactured in the region.
The 36th Extra-Ordinary Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) also declared the first Week of September as ‘Afrika Mashariki Fashion Week’ to be held annually as a Trade Fair and Exhibition of EAC designed textiles and garments.
In Rwanda, government employees have been asked for some months now to wear ‘made in Rwanda’ on last Friday of every month.
The EAC trade ministers also agreed to set up national cotton lint buffer stock mechanisms to ensure all year-round availability of locally produced cotton lint to spinning mills.
They also adopted the approved the Final Draft Cotton, Textile and Apparels (CTA) Strategy and the Implementation Roadmap. It now awaits endorsement by the region’s leaders.
The session was chaired by chaired by Rwanda’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms. Soraya M. Hakuziyaremye. Her colleagues at the meeting were Jean Marie Niyokindi (Burundi Minister for Trade and Industry), Peter Munya (Kenya Minister for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives), Kafabusa Michael (Uganda Minister of State for Trade and Industry), John Dor Majok ( South Sudan Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning), and Innocent Bashungwa ( Tanzania Minister for Industry and Trade).