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Old 09-04-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Images from Africa in the Western media show mostly terrible misery, war, hunger and poverty. According to UN figures more than ninety percent of all Africans live neither in war nor crisis-​areas and the economic growth of some African countries is among the largest in the world.

Kenya‘s economic growth is annually between five and six percent which is three times higher than the growth in Germany. This is above all to the credit of the middle class, which is probably the most crucial potential for the development of the country. Nevertheless you hardly notice anything about the lives of african middle class people. We traveled to the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi to meet and create a portray of people belonging to the middle class.






More here: The Forgotten - Hahn+Hartung
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Warren County, NJ
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I liked those pictures.I always like seeing how people live in other countries.You can tell the "Western" influence is alive and well there.The suits on the men,the hat on the lady,the jeans,and the Adidas sneakers on the kids.Nice link.Thank you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by exnj1970 View Post
You can tell the "Western" influence is alive and well there.The suits on the men,the hat on the lady,the jeans,and the Adidas sneakers on the kids.Nice link.Thank you.
good point...
the next step is to change that, obviously. locally made clothes...
not too hard, really. there's an abundance of independent tailors that can be contracted to make clothes for a retailer. the problem is how to market the product...
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by dub dub II View Post
good point...
the next step is to change that, obviously. locally made clothes...
not too hard, really. there's an abundance of independent tailors that can be contracted to make clothes for a retailer. the problem is how to market the product...
America did not truly have an expansive middle class until we advanced beyond the stage at which consumer products were made by local handcrafters. When American clothing was made to order by a tailor or a seamstress, most Americana had only one respectable suit of clothes, and wore the same thing every day to work or to school, and clothing was affordable only if the women of the house made their own. Clothing was a very expensive commodity before the era of mass-produced assembly-line clothing and synthetic textiles..

Kenya today has a chance for a middle class only because a great majority of Kenyans have access to donated American clothing, shipped over by thrift shop organizations, or is made very cheaply in off-shore assembly in countries where wages are as low as in Kenya. If you walk through a crowd in an African marketplace, you will see that nearly every person is wearing a T-shirt that says Chicago Bulls or Pizza Hut or Hollister on the front, all surplus donated articles shipped over in bales by Goodwill or Salvation Arny. America clothes the world.

Last edited by jtur88; 09-04-2013 at 11:38 PM..
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Kenya today has a chance for a middle class only because a great majority of Kenyans have access to donated American clothing, shipped over by thrift shop organizations, or is made very cheaply in off-shore assembly in countries where wages are as low as in Kenya. If you walk through a crowd in an African marketplace, you will see that nearly every person is wearing a T-shirt that says Chicago Bulls or Pizza Hut or Hollister on the front, all surplus donated articles shipped over in bales by Goodwill or Salvation Arny. America clothes the world.
That are paid for by Kenyan consumers.
Sure, goodwill/sa/charities donate them, but they're bought/sold in those marketplaces.
Someone somewhere along the line figured out that they could get free clothes from the West for the "African Cause" while selling those clothes to African retailers. He's probably been profiting from the exchange for decades.

That, and the preference for foreign clothes, is in the way of local clothes manufacturers from taking the market.

But, like I said, the industry is there, someone just has to effectively connect the dots. There's a healthy textile market and plenty of manufacturers...if someone could coordinate it all well enough to put out a good product, and market it in a convincing way...the market is wide open for them.

So, no, Kenya's "chance at a middle class" has nothing to do with American charity. That "chance", or rather "increasingly present reality" is because the previous generation's investments are starting to pay off.

Also, middle class? That was 10 years ago.

Last edited by dub dub II; 09-05-2013 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Donated clothes, food has the potential to disrupt the fragile economies of developed countries just look at Haiti.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Originally Posted by dub dub II View Post
That are paid for by Kenyan consumers.
Sure, goodwill/sa/charities donate them, but they're bought/sold in those marketplaces.
Someone somewhere along the line figured out that they could get free clothes from the West for the "African Cause" while selling those clothes to African retailers. He's probably been profiting from the exchange for decades.

That, and the preference for foreign clothes, is in the way of local clothes manufacturers from taking the market.

But, like I said, the industry is there, someone just has to effectively connect the dots. There's a healthy textile market and plenty of manufacturers...if someone could coordinate it all well enough to put out a good product, and market it in a convincing way...the market is wide open for them.

So, no, Kenya's "chance at a middle class" has nothing to do with American charity. That "chance", or rather "increasingly present reality" is because the previous generation's investments are starting to pay off.

Also, middle class? That was 10 years ago.
Charities for the most part don't help establish a middle class. It has more to do with the economic prosperity of the country.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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It's not international charity and they are not "donated" to Africa. They are donated by Americans to American corporations or agencies, like Goodwill and Salvation Army, who generate revenues for themselves by selling their surplus to private vendors, who then export them to South America and Africa, where they are sold at retail for whatever price the market will bear.

That is sorta how capitalism works, folks. I don't see the Africans refusing to buy them and instead going to a payday loan shark and borrowing money to buy "a good product" instead -- but alas, the money is not there until Kenya becomes an American style consumer culture of debt.

So now you know how you can get rich and help Africans at the same time. Go over there and set up payday loan offices, and charge 600% interest, and watch Africa's economy take off like a rocket.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:15 PM
 
249 posts, read 314,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Kenya today has a chance for a middle class only because a great majority of Kenyans have access to donated American clothing, shipped over by thrift shop organizations, or is made very cheaply in off-shore assembly in countries where wages are as low as in Kenya. If you walk through a crowd in an African marketplace, you will see that nearly every person is wearing a T-shirt that says Chicago Bulls or Pizza Hut or Hollister on the front, all surplus donated articles shipped over in bales by Goodwill or Salvation Arny. America clothes the world.
I don't know about Kenya specifically but there are parts of Africa where people starved because American's who believe Africans all live in huts with bloated stomachs, donated a lot of clothes and killed their clothing industry, stealing jobs from many Africans who have no safety net.

That you said Kenya only has a chance at a middle class because we throw clothes at them is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read.

Quote:
This article examines the importance of one possible explanation for the failure of African countries to step onto the bottom rung of the manufacturing sophistication ladder, that is to produce apparel. Used-clothing donations to thrift shops and other organisations in industrialised countries typically end up being sold to consumers in Africa. Since used clothing is initially provided as a donation, it shares characteristics with food aid, which always assists consumers, but at times harms African food producers. Used-clothing imports are found to have a negative impact on apparel production in Africa, explaining roughly 40% of the decline in production and 50% of the decline in employment over the period 1981–2000.
Used-Clothing Donations and Apparel Production in Africa - Frazer - 2008 - The Economic Journal - Wiley Online Library
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,346,398 times
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Resold American clothing is also a huge seller in Latin America, and has had no damaging effect at all on the economy in general (which is prospering) or the clothing industry in particular in Latin America. Money that people can save by buying resold American clothing can be spent on other goods and services, still circulating to generate the same prosperity in the economy, whether it is clothing or any other consumer goods available in the marketplace.

Your link does not provide any analysis, it only state the conclusion of an article that is not available for us to read. What it does say is it is "one possible explanation", the operative word being "possible". which means the whole idea is conjectural, even in the view of the author, who admits that the explanation could be something else entiresly. We don't even know the credentials or qualifications of the author, we just have a name -- he could be a blogger, for all we know.

How long would it take an African nation's domestic clothing industry to get off the ground to the point that it can provide apparel at a competitive price to a wide market and employ a significant number of workers, and who will provide the startup capital for such a venture? And what will people wear until that happens, and where will they get the money to purchase their NEW (not second-hand) clothing?

If you has some money that you wanted to invest, and heard about a room full of women with sewing machines in Cameroon ready to work for a dollar a day, is that where you would invest?
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