“Made in Aba” has been known to be associated with imitation goods but that is beginning to change and the Abia State government is solidly behind this move.
Aba, located in the southeast of Nigeria and the commercial centre of Abia State is a bustling town of settlers – most of whom have been attracted by the lure of doing business in an energised community. It has a population of over 600,000, with over one-tenth of this population being artisans producing garments and leather shoes and fabricating machines. One in six of these people is a manufacturer and an employer of labour.
The normal average in Aba is one shop owner to between five to seven workers.
The most common refrain in Aba is, ‘When I finish I will get money to start my own’ and that is why you would get so many people who have more than two decade’s experience doing the same thing. These business owners continue to mentor others.
To promote a new image for “Made In Aba” goods, a marketing agency, TBWA has partnered with Ford Foundation and the Abia State Government, to develop the “Proudly Made in Aba” campaign.
The main objective is to change the negative impression associated with “Made in Aba” products and to attract the much needed investment into this area. More importantly this will be in massive resonance with new federal government policy of encouraging strong local industries and clusters.
The “Proudly Made in Aba” campaign identified the industrial and commercial activities in Aba as a story that had strong potential for Nigeria’s economic growth. 2 Critical Gap Areas were identified which if properly addressed would help the city achieve its potential – Awareness & Capacity Building.
This reminds me of the old “Made in Taiwan” term which existed in the sixties and seventies which was synonymous with fake and copied goods. Of course, this has changed.
Will this also be the fate of Aba? Share your comments below