Guideline and Strategies of Textile Industry on the Sustainable Development of Benin, Chabi Simin Najib Dafia, Fei Chen, Peter Davis Sumo, Octobre 2022

Guideline and Strategies of Textile Industry on the Sustainable Development of Benin, Chabi Simin Najib Dafia, Fei Chen, Peter Davis Sumo, Octobre 2022

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Auteurs : Chabi Simin Najib Dafia, Fei Chen, Peter Davis Sumo

Site de publication : MDPI

Type de publication : Article

Date de publication : Octobre 2022

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Benin is one of Africa’s leading authorities in cotton production. Today, Benin’s textile firms face challenges that affect their textile production efficiency level. The analytical results highlight the need for private capital to resolve technical challenges and boost the industry’s competitiveness by examining the manufactory’s significant weaknesses, such as dated technological installations and the implementation of source energy. Overall, the results suggest that Benin state plays a regulatory role rather than a decision-making role. For the country’s textile firms to benefit economically and enhance their efficiency level, we recommend that Benin’s government switch the industrial structure from cotton processing to textile manufacturing. Moreover, the results obtained also testify that, on the one hand, there is a need to rebuild the foundations of industrial development in order to link industrial sectors with the potential of the primary and tertiary sectors, and on the other hand, it is important to set up an adequate environment that is capable of allowing industrial activity to be carried out effectively, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, hence enhancing the sustainability of Benin textile companies’ performance.


The cotton industry is fundamental to the development of global capitalism and broadly shapes the world we live in today Cotton is considered one of Africa’s leading exports in the textile industry. Africa’s global production contributes about 8% of total crop production. Crop cultivation is predominantly concentrated in the continent’s Western region and, more specifically, in former French colonies. These countries include Mali, Burkina-Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, as top producers in the area. In the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) region, specifically in Benin, crop serves as an engine for economic growth, providing an income source for nearly 15 million people. Benin’s exportation relies on cotton production, and the country became the top cotton producer during the 2019–2020 season, allowing a 35% global GDP growth, a 13% agricultural GDP, and about a 45% increase in rural employment and income rate. These statistics show how the conversion of cotton into textiles exhibits potential in the cotton-textile sector’s economic growth. Cotton remains fundamental to the West and Central African regions.

One of the harmful effects of the state’s monopoly system was the appointment of in- competent managers as the head of these companies. This encouraged lax management and bad governance by favoring these individuals’ particular interests, to the textile sector’s detriment. This has impeded the transformation of Benin’s cotton into unbleached, printed fabrics and clothing. This mismanagement led to the closure of several textile factories in the country. One of these is the Textile Complex of Benin (COTEB), an integrated factory that processes cotton fiber into ready-to-wear products. The company produces military and paramilitary outfits, school outfits, work clothes, household linen, sponge items, towels, bath sheets, bathrobes, and baby key chains, etc. While cotton production has increased in recent years, the processing sector has remained stagnant, which has affected the industry’s export potential. The Ministry of Industry of Benin recently published several findings highlighting the unbleached and printed fabric industry crisis. For example, illustrated in its work about textile industry development in Benin by using the case of complex textile of Benin (COTEB). These challenges are also common for the Society of Textile Industries (SITEX) and the Beninese Textile Company (CBT), which are going through a crisis characterized by a decrease in production, with a significant drop in exports that have significantly reduced earnings for both institutions. These misfortunes follow a series of restructuring and business recovery attempts by the Board of Directors, which were approved by the Council of Ministers of the Beninese Government in February 2015.

Benin’s exportation relies on cotton production, and the country became the top cotton producer during the 2019–2020 season

The concept of sustainable development is long known and recognized as important. The most famous definition of sustainable development is given in the 1987 Brundtland Report: “as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Unfortunately, the concept is not always clearly defined. A variety of definitions and meanings of sustainability are possible. Sustainable production is important to efficiently use our resources and reduce waste and related costs. Generally, there are three pillars of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental), with the famous three circles diagram illustration to have been first presented by Barbier, albeit purposed towards developing nations. Increasingly, sustainability is being adopted as a desirable goal by policy-makers at both international and national levels. While focusing on two sustainability pillars (economic and social) for this research, we will conduct a diagnostic of these companies to understand and explore the factors influencing their development by applying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) technique in combination with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP).

Following a concise review of previous studies, our investigation underlines investment arrangements through sustainable development opportunities to increase gross domestic product. We argue that the state could justify its intervention by providing subsidies for maintaining the functionality of these production units. Furthermore, this study provides empirical evidence of the challenges highlighted, underlining the need to enhance Benin’s economic future. The findings are subjected to a rigorous review of publications and national policies. Therefore, the contribution of this current research is manifold. It will specifically assist start-up manufacturing businesses in determining which strategy companies should pursue to solve manufacturing issues. Long-established manufacturing companies may want to reconsider their existing approach in light of the finding of this study. Furthermore, government and social organizations can learn from this finding to improve their approach on how to deal with the management of the textile sector, while enhancing sustainable development.

While cotton production has increased in recent years, the processing sector has remained stagnant, which has affected the industry’s export potential

Given the importance of the cotton-textile sector to Benin’s economy, and for all the actors involved, it is imperative to conduct research and offer recommendations to enrich the development of the industry. As this study aims to bridge the gap between textile companies and government involvement in the cotton-textile sector, by evaluating the critical factors and exploring how Benin’s textile industries deal with the challenges they face, we focused on three variables to understand it, as follows. (1) Managerial factors influencing the performance of textile productivity (independent variable). (2) Decision- making and productivity (dependent variable). (3) SWOT/AHP analysis mediating the relationship between (1) and (2). The findings from testing these variables through each group and priority (SWOT/AHP) will feed into the existing literature and help policy- makers implement effective strategies for the sustainable development of this sector. Too much investment in Benin and the sub-region can be the foundation for future research, together with decision-making support for government and companies to aid the country’s economic value. While the first section discusses the relevant works of literature, the next section will detail the methodology and data. The final section will conclude with socio-economic policy implications.


The Beninese government is likely to progressively reorient the industrial structure from raw cotton to the export of processed textiles, providing added value to the national economy. We suggest that the government stimulate partnerships and alliances with foreign companies wishing to join the textile industry through FDI to accomplish this. By creating a framework of standard procedures that will help operators in the textile sector continually improve their performance, while creating opportunities for future generations, this research can help enhance sustainable development in Benin. Finally, the investigation is likely to be more helpful in understanding the importance and priorities of the AHP and investigating the causal links among the essential factors influencing the development of Benin’s textile sector through a structured model.