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The Economic Implications of Africa not Using its Raw Cotton Locally are Significant

One of the reasons why Africa exports most of its raw cotton rather than transforming and using it locally is the lack of adequate infrastructure and technology for cotton processing. Cotton is almost entirely cultivated by smallholder farmers in Africa, with very few major plantations. The African cotton processing market is constrained by high energy costs, outdated machinery, low productivity, and poor quality standards. Moreover, the African textile industry has since declined due to competition from cheaper imports from Asia, especially China, which has a large market share in the global textile and clothing sector. In recent times, only Egypt has made efforts to revive its textile manufacturing industry. Hence, Africa relies on exporting their raw cotton rather than transforming and using it locally.