Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tanzania keeps used-undies ban

I read this article from NEWS24 and other than disgusting me, it made me think about economics:

Dar Es Salaam - Tanzania warned on Thursday that legal action would be taken against people selling imported second-hand underwear, prohibited last year in an effort to prevent skin and venereal diseases.

"Undergarments, such as underwears, brassieres and socks are prohibited purely on health grounds and legal action will be taken against anybody found selling the prohibited garments," said the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards acting director, Beatrice Mutabazi.

The ban on used undergarments was announced by the authorities in October last year and became effective on January 15 this year. But, despite the TBS's efforts to control the quality of imported used clothes, known as mitumba, the prohibited textile products are still being sold by retailers. Like many African countries, Tanzania has a huge market for imported second-hand clothing, with used outer garments and underwear selling like hot cakes because of their low cost. A pair of used trousers can cost as little as $2 (about R15) against $10 to $30 dollars for a new pair. Used clothes are imported into Tanzania in large, unsorted bales and are traded and worn just about everywhere in the country.

My economics question is this: What effect does the importation of second hand clothing have on the economy of these poor African countries?


Blogger Corey Wells said...

This article makes a lot of sense.. i mean who wouldnt take action to lower skin problems and vd's. To go on and answer your question this action in my opinion has a harmful effect on the economy because of the price differential between the new and second hand clothing
Corey W

2:34 PM  

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