Sub-Saharan African manufacturers benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act with free trade with the USA. Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Lesotho, South Africa and several other African countries have a growing and capable manufacturing base.
One of the most developed Sub-Saharan African countries is Mauritius which is a small island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. Mauritius is unique in it's political and economic stability since gaining independence from the UK. Although the common language in Mauritius is a French Creole, the official language of the government and business is English. It is not by accident that Mauritius is sometimes increasingly being referred to as the "Singapore of Africa" as the government is aggressively pro-business. Which has resulted in it becoming the location of choice for regional headquarters to manage operations in other African countries along with the development of a strong and experienced apparel manufacturing base in addition to it's tourism and IT services.
Mauritius' major export market is the EU but also manufactures for many quality USA brands, such as J. Crew, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer and Orvis. In fact, Mauritius manufacturers can be characterized by their high quality and craftsmanship with quite sophisticated design capabilities. As a value added service several manufacturers are excellent sources of expertise with the latest in European fabrics and yarns.
Many manufacturers in Mauritius have adopted environmental and social policies to receive international certifications. Because of this transparency, these manufacturers can become an important part of any corporate sustainability effort. It should also be noted that many manufacturers are very flexible with issues such as quantities and lead times.