n African Review of Economics and Finance - International regime governance and apparel labour upgrading in export processing zones in urban Kenya

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2410-4906


This paper analyses the extent to which international regimes on production and trade in apparel offer labour upgrading opportunities in Kenya under the regime on labour. Focussing on the African Growth and Opportunity Act's labour conditionalities, it presents evidence to show that, apart from the non-employment of children, other conditionalities on wages, hours of work, occupational safety and health, forced labour and right of association and right to organise and bargain collectively have not been met fully. Employing a dependency reading of regimes, the paper argues that the governance of regimes on production and trade in apparel, while not a necessary condition, was a sufficient condition to account for this trend. This evidence implies that Sub Saharan African countries need to overcome a lack of strategic reading of the dependency embedded within international regimes, while social movements and their sympathisers need to demand the full implementation of minimum labour conditions.

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