Main content

Tanzania’s Second-hand Trade War

Tanzania's government want to phase out imported second-hand clothes, but are Tanzanian manufacturers ready to clothe this rapidly-growing nation?

Second-hand fashion is big business in Tanzania. Every year, it imports millions of dollars-worth of used clothes from richer nations and many ordinary Tanzanians have come to rely on these - known locally as 'mitumba' - as a reliable source of affordable outfits. Now the Tanzanian government want to phase-out these imports, which they say are killing the local textiles industry. But if they do, they risk losing a lucrative trade-aid deal that allows them to export to the United States duty free. BBC Africa's Sammy Awami investigates the 'mitumba' business and asks local textiles producers if they are ready to clothe this rapidly-growing nation.

Producer: Helen Grady

Photo: Esther Kolale and fellow tailoring students at the Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre in Dar es Salaam
Credit: BBC

Release date:

Available now

27 minutes