Gerber, COMESA Launch Technical Training Program in Mauritius

Gerber Technologies, the Tolland, Conn.–based equipment and software solutions company, teamed up with the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) free-trade area to establish a new program for technical assistance and training in the African nation of Mauritius. The Republic of Mauritius and its Mauritius Business Growth Scheme (MBGS) division invited Gerber to develop the program, designed to foster the use of premium software solutions for apparel pattern making and to make the apparel industry in the COMESA region and Mauritius more competitive. The EU’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF) provided funding for the program.

“Choosing Gerber Technology for technical assistance for CAD training and the capacity-building program is based on the broad presence of Gerber’s digital systems and the excellence of services provided to a growing number of apparel manufacturers in Mauritius,” said Naeem Boodhoo, on-site coordinator and consultant to COMESA and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Corporation. “The number of enterprises having invested into Gerber Technology is increasing continuously due to Gerber’s first-class services, system reliability and ease-of-use as well as fast return on investment for our companies.”

Gerber and local representative Automated Garment Technology Ltd. will provide participants with on-site support and training sessions for the program, which is expected to begin in six months.

“Continuous monitoring of progress will be vital for the success of the program,” said AGT founder and shareholder Clet Baba. “Collaboration with COMESA as well as MBGS will be critical to make this initiative most beneficial to the local industry.” COMESA was formed in late 1994 as a replacement for the former Preferential Trade Area (PTA), which had existed since 1981. Member countries include Egypt, Mauritius, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Sudan, South Sudan, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, the Comoros, Libya, Seychelles, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Swaziland.

Gerber Technology is looking to increase its involvement with Africa’s apparel industry, said Guillaume Gairin, Gerber service director for the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). “Beyond our engagement in Mauritius, it is our short- to medium-term goal to intensify support to the apparel and other sewn-goods industries in the African region and, thus, the further development of their competitiveness in the world market,” he said.