A Situational Analysis of Training and Skills Development Approaches in the Kenyan Clothing Textile and Apparel Industry


  • Joan Ogake Mosomi Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi
  • Betty Karimi Mwiti Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi
  • Lilac Adhiambo Osanjo Arts and Design Department, University of Nairobi


CTA courses, Fashion design, Textile engineering, Apparel design, clothing and textile science, CTA skills, CTA trends, skills development, Kenya


Evidence from East Africa’s recent growth shows the Clothing, Textile, and Apparel (CTA) industry is among the leading industries in current and potential job creation. The industry includes textile mills, textile product mills, and apparel manufacturing. The CTA industry shows potential to grow into a leading export industry for Africa and a leading employer, considering geo-climatic factors, making Africa one of the richest raw material regions for the industry globally. Kenya is one of the African countries with a promising CTA industry.  It is noted from literature that developing the Kenyan CTA industry requires proper financial investment, human capital development, and technological infusion. This research paper focuses on human capital development, more particularly underpinning the training approaches used to develop the human capital in the CTA industry in Kenya and their situatedness. An integrative literature review methodology is employed in this study. Under this methodology, the situation in which the Kenyan CTA industry’s training and skills development is developed is analysed. The objective is to investigate the training gap and skills development in degree programs for the CTA industry in Kenya. A situated learning approach is then used to understand the training programs for the CTA industry, especially in degree programs, their similarity and difference to best practices and industry standards across the world, and their relevance to the industry and field. The Constructivist Learning Theory and Situated Learning Theory are used to interrogate available data on learning approaches and methodologies in the CTA industry compared to industry standards and needs. This study concludes that the CTA industry in Kenya does not have an effective environment to match skills and trends required in the market to the current degree programs.

The environment for collaboration and interaction between the CTA industry and institutions offering CTA courses should be enhanced to ensure knowledge, skills, and trends can be shared across the spectrum. Learning institutions should work with industry players to develop apprenticeship, work-based learning, and general industry experiences for CTA students. A transdisciplinary approach to CTA degree courses is recommended as a critical pathway to incorporate all players into the CTA degree courses.


. Halls J, Martino A. Cloth, copyright, and cultural exchange: textile designs for export to Africa at the National Archives of the UK. Journal of Design History. 2018 Sep 22;31(3):236-54.

. Andebe EO. Green supply chain management practices of the Textile industry in Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi, Kenya).

. Páez L, Karingi S, Kimenyi M, Mekalia P. A Decade (2000–2010) of African-US Trade under the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA): Challenges, Opportunities and a Framework for Post AGOA Engagement. African Development Bank. 2010 Jul 15.

. Andayi GM. Expanding Kenya’s Domestic Textiles And Apparel Industry: Lessons From Rwanda’s Secondhand Clothing Market.

. Cheluget RJ, Mastamet-Mason AN. Chapter Ten Environmental Implications Of Consumers’buying And Disposal Of Apparel In Kenya. The Arts And Indigenous Knowledge Systems In A Modernized Africa. 2018 Dec 17:159.

. Sadowski A, Dobrowolska B, Skowron-Grabowska B, Bujak A. Polish Textile And Apparel Industry: Global Supply Chain Management Perspective.

. Gereffi G. The regional dynamics of global trade: Asian, American, and European models of apparel sourcing. InThe Dialectics of Globalization 2019 May 28 (pp. 31-62). Routledge.

. Mangieri T. African cloth, export production and second-hand clothing in Kenya. Routledge; 2019 Jun 4.

. Kimemia M. Hindrances to the Growth of Apparel Industry in Kenya: A Review.

. Bakker-Edoh D, Kassah JK, Kereth GA, Oigo DB, Mburugu KG. Comparative Analysis Of The Use Of Pattern Drafting And Free Hand Cutting Methods Among Tailors And Apprentices In Kenya And Ghana. Journal of Marketing Studies. 2021 Feb 22;4(1):1-3.

. Chuang S. The Applications of Constructivist Learning Theory and Social Learning Theory on Adult Continuous Development. Performance Improvement. 2021 Mar;60(3):6-14.

. Miner A, Nicodemus B. What Is Situated Learning?. InSituated Learning in Interpreter Education 2021 (pp. 17-39). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

. Cydis S, Haria P, Meyers S. Building preservice teacher’s essential skill competencies through a situated learning approach. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. 2021 Jun;2021(166):93-122.

. Wasike JN. Courses Offered in Technical Vocational Educational Training Institutions: Implication on Student Enrolment in Bungoma County, Kenya.

. Odhiambo JO, Wakiaga LA. Continuous Professional Development For Teacher Educators In Primary Teacher Training Colleges In Kenya: A Literature Review. Educating Teachers For Tomorrow.:75.

. Mbila AM. Contents, Curricula, and Teaching Methodologies of Entrepreneurship Education in Kenya.

. Holland JM, Mendenhall J, Pearson J. Global Contributions of the Human Sciences. African Americans in the Human Sciences: Challenges and Opportunities. 2021:171.

. Strydom M, Kempen E. Towards economic sustainability: how higher education can support the business operations of emerging clothing manufacturing micro enterprises. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. 2021 May 10.

. Pedersen, E.R.G., Lüdeke-Freund, F., Henriques, I. and Seitanidi, M.M., 2021. Toward collaborative cross-sector business models for sustainability.

. Nguyen, H.T., Le, D.M.D., Ho, T.T.M. and Nguyen, P.M., 2020. Enhancing sustainability in the contemporary model of CSR: a case of fast fashion industry in developing countries. Social Responsibility Journal.

. Kobia, C., Sang, P., Muhammad, A., Khoza, L.S. and Lee, J., 2017, January. Addressing gaps between textiles and apparel curriculum and the industry in Kenya. In International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings (Vol. 74, No. 1). Iowa State University Digital Press.

. Comunian, R., Hracs, B.J. and England, L., 2021. Higher Education and Policy for Creative Economies in Africa.

. Chepchumba, R.M. and Monica, C., Challenges Facing Kenyan University Fashion and Apparel Design Programs.

. Kariuki, P.M., 2020. Strategic Factors Influencing the Growth of the Local Fashion Industry in Nairobi County (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University-Africa).

. Socrates, M.K. and Kimuli, M.D., 2020. Pragmatic History of Economic Thought: Explaining Trade Practices and Policies in Kenya. Tanzanian Economic Review, 10(1), pp.123-138.

. Esaku, S., 2020. Trade liberalization and productivity growth: A firm-level analysis from Kenya. Review of Economic Analysis, Forthcoming.

. Bernard, O.M., Memba, F.S. and Oluoch, O., 2018. Influence of tax knowledge and awareness on tax compliance among investors in the Export Processing Zones in Kenya. International Journal of Scientific Research and Management, 6(10), pp.728-733.

. Kariuki, P.M., 2020. Strategic Factors Influencing the Growth of the Local Fashion Industry in Nairobi County (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University-Africa).

. Osanjo, L., 2020. Thinking Through the Growth of The Fashion Design Industry in Kenya. AFRICA HABITAT REVIEW, 14(2), pp.1887-1898.

. England, L., Mosomi, O., Comunian, R. and Hracs, B.J., 2020. Fashion designers and education in Nairobi: Challenges and opportunities. In Higher Education and Policy for Creative Economies in Africa (pp. 44-59). Routledge.

. Mwangi, M.M., 2019. Public-Private Partnerships as a Mechanism of Economic Self Reliance in Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University-Africa).

. Binti Pengiran, P. H. S. N., & Besar, H. (2018). Situated learning theory: the key to effective classroom teaching?. HONAI, 1(1).




How to Cite

Mosomi, J. O. ., Mwiti, B. K. ., & Osanjo, L. A. . (2021). A Situational Analysis of Training and Skills Development Approaches in the Kenyan Clothing Textile and Apparel Industry. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 60(3), 188–204. Retrieved from https://gssrr.org/index.php/JournalOfBasicAndApplied/article/view/13210