Kenya is now the third-ranked African exporter of apparel and textiles to the United States, according to statistics published by Nairobi newspaper The Nation.

In April, the country overtook Mauritius to get behind equally-placed Lesotho and South Africa in the top three, the newspaper reported.

Kenya accounted for 13.2 per cent of the total square metres equivalent of products sent to the US in the last African audit.

The Kenyan textile industry, which collapsed under US allegations of Asian good transhipments in 1994 but was revitalised by the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2000, employs more than 25,000 people in 31 companies.