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Increases in clothing exports after 2000 signaled the first incidence of large-scale manufacturing exports from sub-Saharan Africa. Using firm-level information, this paper explores the potential of clothing exports for poverty reduction and further growth as seen in other low income countries. It shows that the garment exporting industries in Kenya and Madagascar have contributed poverty reduction in the short term by providing mass employment for female and less educated workers with wages beyond the poverty line. However, the long-term impact is not certain. High production costs and limited development of local firms weaken potential for further growth in the competitive world market.
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