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Rags to riches

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The International Trade Commission reports the value of American secondhand clothing exported to Africa was about 60 million US dollars in 2002 alone.

But as a result of growing pressure from local manufacturers and labour unions African governments are threatening to ban the import of used clothes from western countries.

But poor people living in rural areas often cannot afford new clothes. Now the battle lines are drawn – as Joel Tema found out when he visited the small northern Ugandan town of Lira.

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Panos London

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